Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, March 1, 2020)
Word of the Day

breakup

Definition:(noun) The termination or disintegration of a relationship (between persons or nations).
Synonyms:dissolution
Usage: The breakup of the Soviet Union had long-term consequences for international politics.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Silent Speech

Silent speech refers to a direct quotation that is said internally (i.e., silently) by someone to him- or herself. We still use reporting verbs, and we often apply the exact same punctuation rules to silent speech that we use in direct speech. What do some writers use to make silent speech stand out from the rest of the text? More...
Article of the Day

The Year of the Elephant

In Islamic tradition, the Year of the Elephant is the year Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was born. Its name is derived from an event that is said to have occurred that year in Mecca, Muhammad's birthplace. Abraha, the Christian ruler of a neighboring principality, marched upon the Kaaba—what would become the most sacred site in Islam—with a large army. At the border of Mecca, Abraha's elephant is said to have sat down and refused to go any farther. Why did Abraha want to attack the Kaaba? More...
This Day in History

Peace Corps Established (1961)

In his inaugural address, US President John F. Kennedy famously tasked Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Months later, he gave them the opportunity. Kennedy created the Peace Corps to promote diplomacy and counter foreign stereotypes of Americans by sending skilled volunteers to serve abroad, and since 1961, more than 200,000 people have served in nearly 140 countries. What postcard sparked a controversy in the program's first year? More...
Today's Birthday

Marcus Valerius Martialis, AKA Martial (c. 38 CE)

Born in what is now Spain, Martial went as a young man to Rome, where he associated with prominent figures and won fame for his wit and poetry. He is renowned for his 12 books of epigrams—short, pithy sayings, often with a satiric or paradoxical twist. Pointed and often obscene, the poems provide a picture of Roman society during the early empire that is remarkable for its accurate portrayal of human foibles. In one verse, he accuses a man of burning down his own house for what reason? More...
Quotation of the Day
Consequences are unpitying. Our deeds carry their terrible consequences, quite apart from any fluctuations that went before—consequences that are hardly ever confined to ourselves.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Idiom of the Day

lay (something) at the feet of (someone)

To make or hold someone, especially a group of people, responsible for something. More...
Today's Holiday

Drymiais (2021)

In Macedonia, the first three days of March are known as Drymiais and are associated with a number of superstitious beliefs. No trees are pruned or planted during this period because it is believed that they will wither. On March 1, one custom is for Macedonian mothers to tie pieces of red and white yarn around their children's wrists. When they see a swallow, the children throw the skein of yarn to the bird as an offering, or place it under a stone. If they lift the stone a few days later and find a swarm of ants beneath it, they can expect a healthy and prosperous year. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: television

vidiot - An undiscriminating viewer of television or video recordings. More...

gaffer - In television and film, the senior electrician. More...

sixty-four dollar question, sixty-four thousand dollar question - The sixty-four dollar question on the U.S. radio quiz (1942) became the sixty-four thousand dollar question on television (1955). More...

square eyes - Used to describe someone addicted to television. More...

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