Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, July 2, 2020)
Word of the Day

dispirit

Definition:(verb) Lower someone's spirits; make downhearted.
Synonyms:cast down, deject, depress, dismay, demoralize
Usage: I try to maintain a positive outlook, but the sad stories that are often featured on the nightly news inevitably dispirit me.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Constructions Prone to Dangling Prepositions

Dangling prepositions occur when prepositional verbs or phrasal verbs are used at the end of a sentence or clause but the objects of the prepositions appear earlier in the sentence. Generally speaking, there are four types of syntactic constructions in which this happens. What are they? More...
Article of the Day

Maslenitsa

Also known as Butter Week, Cheesefare Week, and Pancake Week, Maslenitsa is a Russian folk and religious holiday. Originally a pagan festival celebrating the end of winter, it was later adopted by Orthodox Christians to mark the final week that dairy, eggs, parties, and dancing may be enjoyed before Great Lent. A weeklong pancake party, the festival is presided over by Lady Maslenitsa, a colorful woman made of straw. What happens to her and the leftover pancakes on the festival's last day? More...
This Day in History

First Wal-Mart Store Opens in Rogers, Arkansas (1962)

Today the world's largest corporation, the Walmart chain of superstores was founded by Sam Walton, a former US Army Captain with an economics degree. Walton owned and ran a chain of five-and-dime stores in Arkansas before he opened his first Wal-Mart store in 1962. In the 50 years since, the company, which sells brand-name goods in high volume at low prices, has flourished. It now has 8,500 stores operating in over a dozen countries. What percent of the US population visits a Walmart each week? More...
Today's Birthday

Hermann Hesse (1877)

Hesse was German novelist and poet who wrote about the individual's search for spiritual fulfillment, often through mysticism. His major works include Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. At around the time of his death in 1962, his novels began to enjoy a revival of popularity due to their association with some of the themes of the 1960s counterculture movement. What fellow German writers did Hesse help to escape from the Nazis? More...
Quotation of the Day
All violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

put a gun to (someone's) head

To force someone to do something he or she does not want to do, especially by the use of threats or intimidation (not necessarily with an actual gun). More...
Today's Holiday

William Tell Play (2020)

The legendary Swiss hero William Tell symbolized the struggle for individual and political freedom. When he defied the Austrian authorities, he was forced to shoot an apple off his son's head in order to gain his freedom. The story of his test as a marksman has passed into folklore, and German dramatist J. C. Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) wrote a play about Tell in 1804. Set in the environs of Altdorf, the legendary site of the apple-shooting incident, Schiller's play has been performed at an open-air theater in Interlaken, Switzerland, since 1912. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: seats

dress circle - So called because it is a circular row of seats at an entertainment, the spectators of which are expected to be in dress clothes. More...

sedile - A seat by the altar for a member of the church clergy. More...

tandem - From Latin, literally "eventually, at length," and then, metaphorically, "acting conjointly"; in the 1880s, it was transferred from a two-horse carriage to a bicycle with two seats, one behind the other. More...

circus - Latin for "ring," its first use was for the arena of Roman antiquity, an oval or circular area enclosed by tiers of seats and usually covered by a tent. More...

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