Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, June 12, 2020)
Word of the Day

unflinching

Definition:(adjective) Showing neither fear nor indecision; resolute.
Synonyms:unintimidated, unshrinking, unblinking
Usage: He held a silent combat with his inward agony, defying, meanwhile, my sympathy with an unflinching, ferocious stare.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Modal Verbs that Indicate an Obligation

Because modal auxiliary verbs can be quite similar in how they are used, it is sometimes unclear when it's more appropriate to use one instead of another. For instance, "must," "shall," "should," and "will" can all be used to indicate an obligation to do something. Which one is particularly direct and forceful? More...
Article of the Day

The Photophone

Though Alexander Graham Bell is best known for his telephone, he was proudest of his photophone, a device that uses rays of light to transmit sound. He made the first wireless call with it in 1880 and was so smitten with the invention that, to his wife's dismay, he wanted to name his second daughter "Photophone." Although outdoor interference from rain and clouds made the device impractical and it never caught on, it is considered the precursor to what modern method of information transfer? More...
This Day in History

The Battle of Cold Harbor Ends (1864)

Cold Harbor was one of the bloodiest and most lopsided engagements of the US Civil War. As many as 13,000 Union soldiers were killed, injured, or captured in the assault on the fortified Confederate line, whereas the Confederates suffered only a few thousand casualties. After two weeks of battle, Union General Ulysses S. Grant decided he could not justify his losses and ordered a retreat, later expressing regret over the disastrous assault. Whose remains did soldiers discover while entrenching? More...
Today's Birthday

Harriet Martineau (1802)

A chronically ill woman who lost her hearing in childhood, Martineau nevertheless went on to become a prolific and enormously popular English author. The sister of a minister, she first published articles on religious subjects, but it was her series of books on economics written for the layman that brought her renown. After a visit to the US in 1834, she became an abolition advocate and wrote several critical works on American culture. What Charles Dickens character may have been based on her? More...
Quotation of the Day
Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Idiom of the Day

(one's) heart's desire

Something one very much wants or needs. More...
Today's Holiday

Common Ridings Day (Selkirk) (2020)

Many Scottish border towns hold a ceremony known as Common Ridings or Riding the Marches in June or July. The custom dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was often necessary to reconfirm boundaries in order to retain royal charters. The two main observations of Common Ridings occur in Selkirk and Haywick in June. In Selkirk, the event is combined with a commemoration of the 1513 Battle of Flodden, in which King James IV of Scotland and 10,000 others were killed. The Royal Burgh Standard Bearer leads a cavalcade of 200 riders around the borders of the town common. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: tube

canyon - Gets its name from Spanish canon, "tube." More...

catheter - A tube inserted for withdrawing bodily fluids, it comes from Greek kathienai, "send or let down." More...

fuse - Comes from Italian fuso, "spindle," from Latin fusus, "spindle," as it originally referred to the casing or tube filled with combustible matter. More...

piping - Icing applied from a tube with a nozzle. More...

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