Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, January 26, 2020)
Word of the Day

self-righteous

Definition:(adjective) Excessively or hypocritically pious.
Synonyms:holier-than-thou, pharisaic, sanctimonious, pietistic
Usage: My self-righteous neighbor Mary makes herself out to be a paragon of virtue and chastity, but I know that she has some dirty little secrets of her own.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining Regular and Irregular Inflection

Inflection, the way we change a word's form to reflect things like tense, plurality, gender, etc., is usually governed by consistent, predictable rules. This is known as "regular inflection." However, there are many instances in which the way a word is inflected doesn't seem to follow any rules or conventions at all—this is known as "irregular inflection." What part of speech is most commonly affected by irregular inflection? More...
Article of the Day

Ostracism

In ancient Athens, ostracism was a method of temporarily banishing a public figure. Each year, the assembly took a preliminary vote to decide whether a vote of ostracism should be held. If a majority approved holding an ostracism, voters would put into an urn a piece of pottery—called an ostrakon—marked with the name of a person they wished to be ostracized. If at least 6,000 votes were cast, the person named on the most ostraka was exiled. How long did the exile last? More...
This Day in History

Decomposing Whale Explodes on Crowded Taiwan Street (2004)

After a sperm whale became beached on the coast of Taiwan, researchers decided to perform an autopsy on the creature to determine its cause of death—later found to have been a collision with a ship. It took three cranes half a day to load the whale onto a truck, during which time gas continued to build up in the decomposing carcass. While passing through Tainan on the way to a wildlife preserve, the whale exploded, spattering onlookers and nearby cars with gore. Where else have whales exploded? More...
Today's Birthday

Maria Augusta von Trapp (1905)

Born in Austria and orphaned at a young age, Maria Kutschera planned to become a nun in Salzburg. Instead, she met Baron Georg von Trapp while tutoring one of his seven children. They were married in 1927 and had three children together. After financial trouble, the family began to sing professionally, then fled Nazi Europe for the US. Today, the family operates a lodge in Vermont. Maria's 1949 memoir was adapted into The Sound of Music. What became of the family's home in Austria? More...
Quotation of the Day
Fiddle, n.: An instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse's tail on the entrails of a cat.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

keep mum

To remain silent; to not say anything (e.g., about a secret). More...
Today's Holiday

Uganda Liberation Day (2021)

This day marks the events of January 26, 1986, when the military junta controlling Uganda was overthrown by the National Resistance Army following a five-year civil war. On the evening before the celebration, fireworks are exploded over the capital city of Kampala. The next day, a parade involving all branches of the Uganda military is held either at the Kololo Independence grounds or at the Kololo airfield, just outside Kampala. The country's president presides over the occasion. Throughout the country, the general public marks the day with sporting events and hearty feasts. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: occupation

aptronym - A name that fits a person's nature or occupation, like Jane House for a real estate agent. More...

mechanical - Predates "machine" in English and has long had certain separate senses, such as "an art, trade, or occupation: concerned with manual work" and "practical as opposed to theoretical." More...

specialization, specialty - Specialization refers to the process of becoming specialized; specialty refers to a special pursuit, occupation, or product. More...

study - Based on Latin studium, "painstaking application, zeal" (from studere, "to be zealous"), study's earliest uses are surprising: "affection, friendliness," an "occupation or pursuit," and "a state of reverie or abstraction; state of perplexity." More...

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