Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, January 19, 2017)
Word of the Day

petrous

Definition:(adjective) Of, relating to, or resembling rock, especially in hardness; stony.
Synonyms:stonelike
Usage: The veterinarian removed several rounded, petrous objects from the animal's wound.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using "May" to Ask for Permission

The modal verb "may" is very commonly used to express or ask for permission to do something. While "may" is considered the most polite and formally correct option when asking for permission, what other modal verbs can be used? More...
Article of the Day

Jug Bands

Jug bands are musical groups that use a mix of traditional and improvised instruments—usually ordinary objects modified for making music, such as the jug, washtub bass, washboard, spoons, stovepipe, and kazoo. Early jug bands were typically made up of African-American vaudeville and medicine show musicians. Emerging in the urban South, the bands played a mixture of Memphis blues—before it was formally called the blues—ragtime, and Appalachian music. How does one play the jug? More...
This Day in History

The Silvertown Explosion (1917)

During World War I, a chemical factory in the highly populated area of Silvertown, England, was used to purify TNT in order to meet the urgent demand for explosive shells. Although a newer, safer plant was built elsewhere, production continued at the factory until a fire ignited 50 tons of TNT in 1917. The explosion killed 73 people, injured hundreds more, and destroyed the plant, many nearby buildings, and a gasholder—sparking an enormous fireball. To what is the low death toll attributed? More...
Today's Birthday

Patricia Highsmith (1921)

Highsmith started out as a comic book artist before becoming known for her chilling tales of crime and cruelty. Alfred Hitchcock propelled her career by adapting her first novel Strangers on a Train, and Highsmith gained further attention as a master of psychological menace with her books about handsome and "talented" psychopath Tom Ripley. Like many of her characters, though, Highsmith was prone to self-destructive and bizarre behavior, including keeping about 300 of what in her garden? More...
Quotation of the Day
There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
But when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Idiom of the Day

on (someone's) wrong side

Displeasing to someone; provoking someone's anger, contempt, or dismissal. More...
Today's Holiday

Epiphany (Russia) (2022)

On January 19th, members of the Russian Orthodox Church ritually bathe in a river or lake. The day marks the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan, an event called the Epiphany, and Orthodox Catholics believe that bathing outside on that day washes away sin. As believers cut holes in the ice with chainsaws and plunge into the frigid water, priests chant prayers to bless the water. Altars and crosses made of ice and snow are sometimes constructed near the bathing site. Authorities advise against the practice, especially in the freezing temperatures of a Russian winter. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: heap

mogul - A small mound of snow on a ski course, from Old Norse mugl, "little heap." More...

congeries - A Latin word meaning "heap or pile of disparate items" or "disorderly collection." More...

midden - Traces back to Scandinavian forms mog, "muck," and dynge, "heap," and first meant "dunghill" before it denoted a prehistoric or historic refuse heap. More...

accumulate - One of its Latin elements is cumulus, "a heap." More...

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