Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, December 20, 2019)
Word of the Day

bugbear

Definition:(noun) An object of dread or apprehension.
Synonyms:hobgoblin
Usage: What have I done to be made a bugbear of, and to be shunned and dreaded as if I brought the plague?
Daily Grammar Lesson

Separating Items in a List with Semicolons

When writing lists, we usually use commas to separate the individual elements. However, we use semicolons to make the division between the items clearer when one or more items in a list already includes what? More...
Article of the Day

The Sheng

Also called a syrinx or panpipes, the sheng is a primitive wind instrument consisting of a series of short hollow reeds or pipes graduated in length by the musical scale and fastened side by side. Of Chinese origin, the instrument became known to the Greeks, who linked its origin to the legend of the nymph Syrinx, said to have been transformed into reeds to escape the amorous pursuit of the god Pan. What composers have used the sheng in their compositions? More...
This Day in History

South Carolina Becomes the First State to Secede from the US (1860)

In the 1830s, South Carolina residents, frustrated by agricultural tariffs, broached the possibility of secession. Tariff reform appeased them for some time, but following the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union. The state's governor immediately demanded all federal property within the state, including Fort Sumter. The firing on Sumter by Confederate batteries in 1861 precipitated the Civil War. When was the US flag raised over Fort Sumter again? More...
Today's Birthday

Branch Wesley Rickey (1881)

Rickey was an American baseball executive. In 1919, he devised baseball's farm system of using minor-league teams to train major-league players. In 1945, after he took over the Brooklyn Dodgers, he defied convention and broke a long-standing race barrier by hiring Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the major leagues. A deeply religious man, the "Mahatma"—as Rickey was popularly known—never played, attended, or managed games on Sundays. What protective gear did he introduce to baseball? More...
Quotation of the Day
Feast, n.: A festival. A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, frequently in honor of some holy person distinguished for abstemiousness.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

go soft on (someone)

To treat someone delicately, gently, or leniently; to not criticize, punish, or berate someone too harshly. More...
Today's Holiday

Posadas (2019)

This nine-day Christmas celebration in Mexico commemorates the journey Mary and Joseph (the parents of Jesus) took to Bethlehem. Reenacting their search for shelter (posada in Spanish) in which Jesus might be born, a group of "pilgrims" will knock on someone's door and ask the owner to let them in. The master of the house finally invites them to enter and the Posadas party begins. The children are blindfolded and given a chance to break the piñata by swinging at it with a stick. The posadas are repeated for nine evenings, the last occurring on Christmas Eve. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: traffic

filter lane - The lane of traffic reserved for those making a specific turn at the next junction. More...

reverse commute - To travel to work opposite of the normal rush of traffic. More...

traffic calming - The deliberate slowing of traffic in residential areas, with speed bumps or other obstructions. More...

traffic - Can only be traced to Italian traffico and trafficare, "trade," but that is all that is known. More...

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