Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 12, 2016)
Word of the Day

lackey

Definition:(noun) A servile follower.
Synonyms:toady, crawler, sycophant
Usage: The archdeacon had in Quasimodo the most submissive slave, the most docile lackey, the most vigilant of dogs.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining Voice

Voice is a grammatical feature that describes the relationship between the verb and the subject in a sentence. There are two main types of voice: active voice and passive voice. There is also a third type of voice that is less commonly used. What is it called? More...
Article of the Day

Olbers's Paradox

If the universe is assumed to contain an infinite number of uniformly distributed luminous stars, then every point in the sky should be as bright as a star. So why is the sky dark at night? That is the question posed by Olbers's paradox, named for astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, who described it in 1823, more than 200 years after Johannes Kepler first posed the question as an argument against the notion of a limitless universe with infinite stars. How has the paradox since been resolved? More...
This Day in History

Nazi Commandos Rescue Imprisoned Benito Mussolini (1943)

In 1943, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed by his own government. When German forces discovered that he was being held at a ski resort in the Apennine Mountains, they launched a daring rescue. Arriving on gliders, German troops overwhelmed Mussolini's captors and spirited him away without firing a shot. The operation was a major propaganda success for the Nazis. According to some accounts, what was Mussolini's reply when the paratroopers told him that Adolf Hitler had sent them? More...
Today's Birthday

Alfred A. Knopf (1892)

Knopf was a leading American publisher of the 20th century who founded Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., in 1915. He emphasized translations of great contemporary European literature, at that time neglected by American publishers, and paid special attention to the printing, binding, and design of his books, earning a reputation as a purist in both content and presentation. By the time of his death, authors published by the firm had won 16 Nobel and 27 Pulitzer prizes. What was his colophon? More...
Quotation of the Day
Capital, n.: The seat of misgovernment.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

canary in a coal mine

Something or someone who, due to sensitivity to his, her, or its surroundings, acts as an indicator and early warning of possible adverse conditions or danger. Refers to the former practice of taking caged canaries into coal mines. The birds would die if methane gas became present and thereby alert miners to the danger. More...
Today's Holiday

Festival of St. Nichiren's Pardon (2018)

At the Botamochi Temple in Kamakura, Japan, this festival honors St. Nichiren (1222-1282), considered to be Japan's most fervent Buddhist priest. He was exiled to the island of Sado in the Sea of Japan in 1271. After four years there, he returned and spent the rest of his life on Mount Minobu. The Festival of Nichiren's Pardon is observed by members of the Nichiren sect with massive demonstrations and the loud chanting of prayers attributed to Nichiren, accompanied by the beating of drums. People make offerings of botamochi, rice balls covered with sweet bean paste, in his honor. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: signature

allograph - A signature or writing done for another person. More...

moniker - Originally meant a mark left by a tramp on a building or fence to indicate he/she had been there; therefore, a tramp's moniker identified him/her like a signature. More...

signature block - The typed or printed name and title of a person appearing below a signature at the bottom of a letter, e-mail, etc. More...

paraph - As a verb, to divide into paragraphs; the noun can mean a flourish made after a signature, especially to make it unique. More...

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