Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, October 13, 2017)
Word of the Day

crystalline

Definition:(adjective) Transmitting light; able to be seen through with clarity.
Synonyms:limpid, lucid, pellucid, transparent
Usage: This water is of such crystalline purity that the body of the bather appears of an alabaster whiteness.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Forming Compound Words with Prefixes

A prefix attaches to the beginning of a word (known as the "root" or "stem word") to change its meaning. While the vast majority of prefixes don't require a hyphen when they are attached to the root, in what situation is it helpful to use a hyphen between the prefix and the stem word? More...
Article of the Day

William S. Burroughs

Burroughs was an American novelist, essayist, social critic, painter, and spoken-word performer whose two dozen books controversially blend homosexuality, science fiction, drug use, and underworld depravity. Much of his work is semi-autobiographical, drawn from his experiences as a long-time opiate addict. A primary member of the Beat Generation, he was an avant-garde writer whose style and ideas influenced popular culture as well as literature. Who did Burroughs accidentally kill in 1951? More...
This Day in History

Cornerstone of the White House Is Laid in Washington, DC (1792)

Originally called the "President's Palace," the official residence of the president of the United States was designed by Irish-American architect James Hoban with guidance from President George Washington, whose term ended before he was able to move in. Some slaves took part in the construction, which lasted eight years. Today, the White House is the oldest public building in Washington. Very little of the original structure survived an 1814 fire, set by British troops in retaliation for what? More...
Today's Birthday

Mary Henrietta Kingsley (1862)

Kingsley was an English explorer and writer who challenged and influenced European ideas about Africa. Following the deaths of her parents, Kingsley travelled to West Africa to complete her father's unfinished book. There, she studied local customs and explored uncharted territory. Returning to her native England, she criticized missionary efforts and defended traditional African culture—including aspects such as polygamy. Another female explorer introduced her to what murderous tribal custom? More...
Quotation of the Day
I'm not a bit changed—not really. I'm only just pruned down and branched out. The real me—back here—is just the same.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Idiom of the Day

like attracts like

People tend to seek out or be attracted to those that are similar or like-minded. More...
Today's Holiday

Carberry Day (2017)

The students and faculty at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, celebrate the fictitious academic exploits of Professor Josiah Stinkney Carberry every Friday the 13th. On Carberry Day, small brown jugs appear around campus, and students and teachers fill them with change. The money goes to a book fund that Professor Carberry has set up "in memory of my future late wife, Laura." More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: pity

alms - Goes back to Greek eleemosune, "compassion, pity," and eleos, "mercy." More...

bemoan, lament - Bemoaning is motivated when pity or grief is over an event that is joined to a consequence, whereas lamenting is motivated when the grief is over the event itself. More...

pity, piety - Pity and piety shared the meanings "compassion" and "dutifulness, reverence" for a while. More...

ruth, ruthless, ruthful - Ruth, meaning "compassion, pity," is part of ruthless and ruthful. More...

In the News

Elusive stick insect thought extinct for 80 years is still alive and kicking

A 6-inch-long stick bug with an exoskeleton that looks like a lobster was metaphorically brought back from the dead by scientists. The tree lobster (dryococelus australis) was long thought extinct but thanks to a group of exploring rock climbers and ... More...
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