Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, February 24, 2015)
Word of the Day

tergiversate

Definition:(verb) To use evasions or ambiguities; to change sides.
Synonyms:equivocate, prevaricate, palter
Usage: She refused to tergiversate on the subject, stating her opinion concisely and openly.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Aspects of the Past Tense

We use different aspects with verbs in the past tense to describe exactly how an event is structured in relation to a point in time in the past. When is the past perfect continuous used? More...
Article of the Day

Incunabula

Incunabula are "books of the cradle days" of printing, or books printed in the 15th century. The known incunabula represent about 40,000 editions. The books include products of more than 1,000 presses, including such famous printers as Gutenberg, Caxton, and Aldus Manutius, and give evidence as to the development of typography in its formative period. These books were generally large quarto size, bound in calf over boards of wood, and decorated with borders. What are some famous incunabula? More...
This Day in History

Diocletian Publishes Edict Calling for Persecution of Christians (303 CE)

Though the Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered the persecution of Christians several times, his so-called Great Persecution began with an official edict. Churches were razed, scriptures burned, and practitioners executed. A few years later, he became the first Roman emperor to voluntarily abdicate, after which he retired to Croatia to grow cabbages in peace. The reign of Constantine soon made Christianity the empire's preferred religion. When asked to return to the throne, how did Diocletian reply? More...
Today's Birthday

Jacques de Vaucanson (1709)

The mechanically gifted 10th child of a French glove-maker, Vaucanson created some of the world's first robots. His famous gold-plated "Digesting Duck" had hundreds of moving parts and could eat, drink, and defecate. In 1745, weavers pelted Vaucanson with stones when he created the first fully-automated loom, which utilized punch-card technology. Decades later, his ideas would prove pivotal to the Industrial Revolution. How many songs could his mechanical flutist perform? More...
Quotation of the Day
Faith, n.: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

latchkey kid

A child who is home alone after school or in general because their parents or guardians are at work. More...
Today's Holiday

N'cwala (2021)

In 1835, the Ngoni tribe left South Africa and moved into what is now the country of Zambia. The N'cwala festival celebrates the tribe's satisfaction with its environs since that time, and also marks the beginning of the harvest. This is a festival of thanksgiving and people congregate in the village of Mutenguleni, including the paramount chief. Groups of dancers display their skills for the chief, who traditionally chooses one group as having outdone the others. The chief is also responsible for being the first to sample the season's new foods and blessing it for the people. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: railway

Main Line - The principal line of a railway (1841), it also has the meaning "affluent area of residence" (1930s), originally that of Philadelphia, from the "main line" of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which added local stops to a string of backwater towns west of the city in late 19th century that helped turn them into fashionable suburbs. More...

one-track mind - Is a reference to the railway. More...

railway - The word was first recorded in 1776, but the first actual railway opened nearly 50 years later, in 1825. More...

sidetrack - First used for a railway siding or a minor track or path. More...

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