Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, July 29, 2015)
Word of the Day

gastropod

Definition:(noun) Any of various mollusks of the class Gastropoda, such as the snail, slug, cowrie, or limpet, characteristically having a single, usually coiled shell or no shell at all, a ventral muscular foot for locomotion, and eyes and feelers located on a distinct head.
Synonyms:univalve
Usage: The sound of a shell crushing beneath his foot told him that he had just caused a gastropod's demise.
Daily Grammar Lesson

"Wh-" Questions

"Wh-" questions (or "question word questions") are questions that seek information by posing a question with a "wh-" question word ("who," "what," "where," "when," "why," and "how"). What kind of answer do these questions seek? More...
Article of the Day

Fenugreek

Fenugreek, known also as Methi, is a crop plant grown as a potherb and for the spice made from its seeds. It grows wild from the eastern Mediterranean area to China and is used in a wide variety of foods there. Fenugreek seeds are widely used as a milk producing agent by nursing mothers and recent experiments indicate it may be a useful tool in the fight against cancer and diabetes. In 2009, fenugreek was discovered to be the source of what kind of smell wafting over New York City? More...
This Day in History

Discovery of Dwarf Planet Eris Is Announced (2005)

Though Eris was first photographed in 2003, scientists working at the Palomar Observatory did not realize that they had captured pictures of a previously unknown planet until re-analyzing the images in 2005. That year, news of the newly discovered planet was announced. Slightly larger than Pluto, the icy dwarf planet has its own moon, Dysnomia, and is one of the most distant objects in the solar system. Before its official naming in 2006, it was popularly known by the name of what TV character? More...
Today's Birthday

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805)

Tocqueville was a French political scientist, historian, and politician. Born into an aristocratic family with ties to the king, his future in government was jeopardized by a revolution in 1830. To distance himself from the trying political situation at home, he embarked on a government-sanctioned mission to the US. Out of it came his best-known work, Democracy in America—the first analytical study of the strengths and weaknesses of US society. What conclusions did Tocqueville draw in it? More...
Quotation of the Day
Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigor. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow's hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Idiom of the Day

bad omen

A sign, either real or imagined, of ill fortune or catastrophe in the future. More...
Today's Holiday

Fête des Vignerons (2019)

Held only five times during each of the 19th and 20th centuries in Vevey, Switzerland, the Fête des Vignerons is a pageant of music, dance, and song depicting the passage of the seasons in winegrowing country and honoring the most talented workers in the vineyards. It lasts more than two weeks and has a cast of thousands, drawn from the local population. The pageant takes place in an open-air theater, specially constructed each time the festival is held, with Lake Geneva and the mountains beyond as a backdrop. The festival was last held in 1999. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: leaving

drawing room - A shortening of withdrawing room, the room to which the ladies withdrew, leaving the men to smoking and drinking. More...

egression - The action of going out or leaving a place. More...

bequeath - Etymologically, what you bequeath is what you "say" you will leave someone in your will—but the original sense "say, utter" died out, leaving the legal sense. More...

exclaustration - Being expelled from or leaving a religious retreat; it is also the return to secular life by someone who has been released from their religious vows. More...

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