Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, March 7, 2018)
Word of the Day

tinder

Definition:(noun) Readily combustible material, such as dry twigs, used to kindle fires.
Synonyms:kindling, spunk, touchwood, punk
Usage: One of the fishermen struck light from a stone, set fire to some tinder, and by the aid of a match lit a lantern.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Gender in Nouns

There are some instances in which nouns are declined to show masculine or feminine gender. How is a noun made feminine? More...
Article of the Day

Khat

Khat is a flowering plant native to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where it has been used for centuries as a stimulant. It contains cathinone, an addicting, amphetamine-like substance that causes excitement and euphoria. Use of the drug, which is generally ingested by chewing the plant's leaves, has been reported throughout the world, though it is, in many countries, a controlled and illegal substance. In what country can one apply for a permit to import small amounts of khat? More...
This Day in History

Alexander Graham Bell Awarded US Patent for Telephone (1876)

Originally an audiologist, professor, and teacher of the deaf, Bell became interested in the idea of transmitting sound waves by wire when he misread a thesis by a German physicist. He mistakenly believed that the thesis implied such a transmission was possible. It did not, but Bell's idea was sound. Later, he described his mistranslation as a "valuable blunder." Three days after receiving a patent for his device, he spoke the first sentence ever transmitted by telephone. What was it? More...
Today's Birthday

Luther Burbank (1849)

The 13th child of a Massachusetts farmer, Burbank received little formal education, yet he went on to become a groundbreaking horticulturist. Influenced by Charles Darwin's writings, he began breeding plants at age 21. The rapid success of his Burbank potato, the russet variety of which is now the most widely-grown potato in the US, allowed him to move to California and establish an experimental farm, where he developed more than 800 varieties of plants. What is his spineless cactus used for? More...
Quotation of the Day
If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Idiom of the Day

harp away at (someone or something)

To complain about or dwell upon someone or something repeatedly and to the point of tediousness. More...
Today's Holiday

Bal du Rat Mort (2020)

A huge carnival and ball, Bal du Rat Mort is concentrated in the casino of Ostende, Belgium, but also spread out all over the town. The carnival began at the end of the 19th century, launched by members of the Oostende Art and Philanthropic Circle (Circle Coecilia) who named the affair for a café on Montmartre (a hilly part of northern Paris, home to many artists) where they had whiled away pleasant hours. People are masked at the ball, and there's a competition for the best costume. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: impact

fighting fire with fire - Early American settlers had to put out great prairie fires and learned that setting a circle or strip of land on fire could stop the path or lessen the impact of a big fire—giving us the phrase "fighting fire with fire." More...

freezing rain - Rain that freezes on impact with the ground or objects. More...

draw - The billiard ball's recoil after impact. More...

impinge, infringe - To impinge is to come into contact or encroach or have an impact; to infringe is to encroach on a right or privilege or to violate. More...

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