Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, September 2, 2020)
Word of the Day

inundate

Definition:(verb) Fill quickly beyond capacity; as with a liquid.
Synonyms:deluge, flood, swamp
Usage: If we inundate the senator's office with letters of protest, we are certain to get her attention.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Constructing Phrasal Verbs – Particles vs. Prepositions

Phrasal verbs are made up of a verb + a preposition or an adverbial particle, and their meaning is uniquely tied to each particular combination. A particle is very similar to a preposition—in fact, they are almost always identical in appearance. What is the key difference between particles and prepositions? More...
Article of the Day

Black Swans

In Europe, where there are no black swans, the bird was historically thought to be an impossibility, leading to its use as a metaphor for something that does not exist. Then, in 1697, Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh sighted one on a river in Australia, where it is found in wetlands. Today, it is an important cultural symbol of Western Australia, where its image has been used on stamps, signs, currency, and the state flag. How does the black swan appear in the legends of aboriginal peoples? More...
This Day in History

"Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick" (1901)

While speaking at the 1901 Minnesota State Fair, US Vice President Theodore Roosevelt used the proverb, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Four days later, President McKinley was shot, and, after McKinley died on the 14th, Roosevelt became president. The statement he made in Minnesota became forever associated with his foreign policy of backing up negotiations with implicit military might, and political cartoons often portrayed him toting the proverbial stick. What is the rest of the saying? More...
Today's Birthday

Frederick Soddy (1877)

Working with Ernest Rutherford, Soddy developed a theory of the disintegration of radioactive elements. In 1912, the British chemist was among the first to conclude that elements might exist in chemically indistinguishable forms—now known as isotopes—of different atomic weights. In his 1920 book Science and Life, he described the use of isotopes in determining geologic age. He later applied his scientific background to economic theories. What H.G. Wells novel was inspired by his work? More...
Quotation of the Day
A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Idiom of the Day

idiot mittens

Mittens or gloves that are attached to one's sleeves by a length of yarn or string so as to prevent their being lost. More...
Today's Holiday

National Old-Time Country Music Contest and Festival (2020)

Created by Bob Everhart as part of America's bicentennial celebration in 1976, the National Old-Time Country Music Contest and Festival in Avoca, Iowa, is now the largest gathering of public domain music-makers and listeners in the United States. The festival's purpose is to preserve the music that, in Everhart's words, has been "in many instances altered so dramatically that it is no longer recognizable as a traditional American art form." There are more than 30 competitions in such varied musical genres as ragtime, polka, Cajun, mountain, folk, cowboy, Western, yodeling, and gospel. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: hell

barathrum - A bottomless pit or hell. More...

fire and brimstone - Eternal punishment in hell (from Genesis 19:24 and Revelation 19:20). More...

pandemonium - Literally means abode of all demons (or hell), from Greek pan-, "all," and daimon, "demon(s)." More...

hell - The Indo-European root meant "covered or concealed," as hell is supposedly hidden in the dark regions near the Earth's center. More...

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