Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, March 16, 2020)
Word of the Day

flitter

Definition:(verb) Move back and forth very rapidly.
Synonyms:flicker, flutter, quiver, waver
Usage: The hummingbird flittered from one flower to the next, darting instinctively to wherever the nectar was most plentiful.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Placement of Verbs in a Sentence

Finite verbs often directly follow the subjects whose actions they are describing. This location allows for a clear connection between the subject and the verb. Where do non-finite verbs generally appear in a sentence? More...
Article of the Day

The Octothorpe

In the US, it is most frequently called a pound or number sign. In the UK, it is called a hash. Elsewhere, it is referred to as a hex. Desiring an unambiguous name for the now-ubiquitous key, phone engineers coined the word "octothorpe" in the 1960s, but it never gained wide usage. "Octo" refers to the symbol's eight arms, but the origin of "thorpe" is less clear. One theory is that it is a reference to the symbol’s resemblance to a village surrounded by fields. Why is it called a pound sign? More...
This Day in History

Caligula Becomes Emperor of Rome (37 CE)

When Caligula became the Roman emperor in 37 CE, replacing the hated Tiberius, the public welcomed his reign, and for a time it was uneventful. Seven months later, he fell severely ill, and when he recovered, he was a changed man. Suddenly, his reign was marked by financially ruinous extravagance, unmatched cruelty, and rampant executions, even of his former supporters. He was assassinated within a few years. What may have caused the mental instability Caligula displayed after his illness? More...
Today's Birthday

Caroline Lucretia Herschel (1750)

Caroline Herschel was a British astronomer. At the age of 10, she contracted typhus, which permanently stunted her growth—but not her ambition. Her family assumed that she would never marry because of her height and trained her to be a household servant. But when her brother, Sir William Herschel, took up astronomy and accepted the position of King's Astronomer, she joined him as his assistant and assumed the laborious task of cataloguing thousands of stars and nebulae. What did she discover? More...
Quotation of the Day
The nations of the earth are mostly swayed by fear—fear of the sort that a little cheap oratory turns easily to rage, hate, and violence.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Idiom of the Day

have a go (at something)

To attempt to do or undertake something, especially that which is unfamiliar or new. Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Urho's Day (2020)

St. Urho, whose name in Finnish means "hero," is credited with banishing a plague of grasshoppers that was threatening Finland's grape arbors. His legend in the United States was popularized in the 1950s; after being celebrated as a "joke holiday" for several years in the Menahga-Sebeka area, the idea spread to other states with large Finnish populations. The actual celebrations include wearing St. Urho's official colors—Nile Green and Royal Purple—drinking grape juice, and chanting St. Urho's famous words, "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go away," in Finnish. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: punish

execute - Derives from Latin exsequi, "carry out, follow up; punish." More...

gruelling - Comes from the verb gruel, "to exhaust, punish." More...

punish - Derives from Latin punire, "punish," which came from poena, "penalty, punishment." More...

penal, punitive - Penal means "relating to punishment," while punitive means "serving to punish." More...

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