Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, March 26, 2017)
Word of the Day

connoisseur

Definition:(noun) A person with expert knowledge or training, especially in the fine arts.
Synonyms:cognoscente
Usage: I brought the painting to the world's best art connoisseurs, and they all agreed that it was an authentic Picasso and would fetch millions at auction.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Semicolons

Semicolons ( ; ) are used for two main purposes: to separate lengthy or complex items within a list and to connect independent clauses. What type of conjunction is almost always paired with a semicolon? More...
Article of the Day

The Nazca Lines

Aerial exploration of the arid tableland surrounding Peru's Palpa valley has revealed a remarkable network of geometric and zoomorphic forms etched in the desert floor. Created by the Nazca, a pre-Incan civilization that flourished from about 200 BCE to about 600 CE, the Nazca Lines span about 200 sq mi (500 sq km). The glyphs are only recognizable as coherent figures from the air, but the Nazca never possessed the technology to view them from that vantage point. Why, then, did they create them? More...
This Day in History

Heaven's Gate Cult Members Found Dead (1997)

Established in 1972, Heaven's Gate was a cult that advocated self-renunciation, to the point of castration, as preparation for the "transition" to a new life on a spaceship, which adherents believed was trailing behind the comet Hale-Bopp. As the comet made its closest approach to Earth, 39 members of the group committed suicide. Authorities found the dead lying neatly in their bunk beds, dressed identically and wearing armbands that read "Heaven's Gate Away Team." How did the group fund itself? More...
Today's Birthday

Robert Frost (1874)

Perhaps the most popular and beloved of 20th-century American poets, Frost wrote of the character, people, and landscape of New England. Rooted in the New England landscape, yet deeply symbolic, his work is concerned with human tragedies and fears, the complexities of life, and the ultimate acceptance of one's burdens. Frost was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry four times—in 1924, 1931, 1937, and 1943. He recited a poem at the inauguration of which US president? More...
Quotation of the Day
A woman's heart must be of such a size and no larger, else it must be pressed small, like Chinese feet; her happiness is to be made as cakes are, by a fixed recipe.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Idiom of the Day

brace of shakes

Instantly, quickly, or in an extremely short amount of time, as of a task or event. "Brace," taken from the old French for the arms' breadth from hand to hand, means twice; the phrase as a whole refers either to an old nautical term, meaning the time it takes the sail to shake twice as it takes up the wind, or else the short time it takes to shake a dice-box twice. Often used in the phrase "in a brace of shakes." More...
Today's Holiday

Bangladesh Independence Day (2019)

This public holiday celebrates the declaration of independence of the state of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971. When India gained independence from Britain in 1947, the region that is now Bangladesh became East Pakistan, and was governed together with West Pakistan as one country. By early 1971, differences between East and West Pakistan led to war. When India entered the war in November, independence was assured. Bangladeshis observe this national holiday in the capital city of Dhaka with memorial ceremonies, a boat race on the Buriganga River, and other festivities. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: security

hostage - First referred to the state of someone handed over as a pledge or security (for the fulfillment of an undertaking). More...

policy - Meaning "insurance document," it is from a French word meaning "certificate, contract," from an earlier Latin word meaning "a receipt or security for money paid." More...

impignorate, pignorate - To impignorate or pignorate means to put up as security or to pawn. More...

wage, wager - Wage once meant "pledge, security" and wager was defined as "solemn pledge" or "undertaking," from French wagier, "to pledge." More...

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