Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, March 1, 2020)
Word of the Day

breakup

Definition:(noun) The termination or disintegration of a relationship (between persons or nations).
Synonyms:dissolution
Usage: The breakup of the Soviet Union had long-term consequences for international politics.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Silent Speech

Silent speech refers to a direct quotation that is said internally (i.e., silently) by someone to him- or herself. We still use reporting verbs, and we often apply the exact same punctuation rules to silent speech that we use in direct speech. What do some writers use to make silent speech stand out from the rest of the text? More...
Article of the Day

The Year of the Elephant

In Islamic tradition, the Year of the Elephant is the year Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was born. Its name is derived from an event that is said to have occurred that year in Mecca, Muhammad's birthplace. Abraha, the Christian ruler of a neighboring principality, marched upon the Kaaba—what would become the most sacred site in Islam—with a large army. At the border of Mecca, Abraha's elephant is said to have sat down and refused to go any farther. Why did Abraha want to attack the Kaaba? More...
This Day in History

The Wellington Avalanche (1910)

During a multi-day blizzard in February 1910, a passenger train and a mail train got stuck in Wellington, Washington, high in the Cascade Mountains. Once the snow finally let up, it changed to rain—with tragic consequences. Early on March 1, an avalanche threw the two trains off the tracks and into a valley below, killing 96 people. It was not the only deadly avalanche in the area that year—one struck British Columbia three days later. How did the disaster change railroading in the Cascades? More...
Today's Birthday

Marcus Valerius Martialis, AKA Martial (c. 38 CE)

Born in what is now Spain, Martial went as a young man to Rome, where he associated with prominent figures and won fame for his wit and poetry. He is renowned for his 12 books of epigrams—short, pithy sayings, often with a satiric or paradoxical twist. Pointed and often obscene, the poems provide a picture of Roman society during the early empire that is remarkable for its accurate portrayal of human foibles. In one verse, he accuses a man of burning down his own house for what reason? More...
Quotation of the Day
Consequences are unpitying. Our deeds carry their terrible consequences, quite apart from any fluctuations that went before—consequences that are hardly ever confined to ourselves.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Idiom of the Day

(one's) blood is up

One is in an angry, aggressive, or violent mood; one is looking or ready for a fight. More...
Today's Holiday

Whuppity Scoorie (2022)

On March 1 every year, Lanark's parish church bell rings exactly at 6 p.m., after a four-month silence. As the bell begins to ring, children in this Scottish town parade three times round the church, dangling pieces of string with paper balls attached at the other end. Then they start striking one another with the paper balls in a play fight. Once pennies are tossed to the ground, the children rush to collect them. One explanation for the origin of this festival is that it can be traced back to pagan times, when people believed that making a great deal of noise would scare away evil spirits. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: mirror

cheval glass - A tall mirror swung on an upright frame that takes its name from French cheval, "horse"—a synonym for "supporting framework," which describes this mirror. More...

catoptric - Means pertaining to a mirror, reflection, or reflector. More...

mirage - From French se mirer, "be reflected," from Latin mirare, "look at"—the same root used in mirror. More...

heliography - Using a mirror to send a signal. More...

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