Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, December 21, 2017)
Word of the Day

extempore

Definition:(adjective) Spoken, carried out, or composed with little or no preparation or forethought.
Synonyms:ad-lib, extemporaneous, impromptu, off-the-cuff, offhand, offhanded, unrehearsed
Usage: The class performed an extempore skit that condensed the complex plot of Shakespeare's Hamlet into a single, 15-minute act.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Focusing Adverbs that Add Information

Focusing adverbs are used to draw attention to a particular part of a clause. When we want to emphasize information that is being added to previous information, what three focusing adverbs can we use? More...
Article of the Day

Faraday Cages

In 1836, scientist Michael Faraday observed that a charge on a conductor resides only on its surface and does not impact anything enclosed within. To demonstrate this, he coated a room with metal foil, had high-voltage discharges strike its exterior, and showed with an electroscope that no electric charge reached the interior. Today, any container made of a conductor that shields its interior from electric fields is called a Faraday cage. What common modes of transportation act as Faraday cages? More...
This Day in History

Introduction of the Modern Crossword Puzzle (1913)

Though a type of crossword puzzle has been traced back to the ancient Egyptians, 20th-century British-American journalist Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of the modern form of the crossword. Within a decade, such puzzles were being published in most leading US newspapers. The word game was further popularized when Simon & Schuster published a crossword puzzle book in 1924. The craze soon spread to England and beyond. What name did Wynne initially give his word game? More...
Today's Birthday

Florence Griffith Joyner, AKA FloJo (1959)

"FloJo" was a US sprinter whose incredible speed and unique fashion sense left an indelible mark on the running world. She first turned heads at the 1984 Olympics, where her silver-medal performance was nearly overshadowed by her long, painted nails and flashy racing suits. By 1988's Games, however, there was no denying her skill. She set one world record during the Olympic trials and another at the Games, where she also took three golds and a silver. Who is her similarly talented sister-in-law? More...
Quotation of the Day
The latter part of a wise man's life is taken up in curing the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Idiom of the Day

that's my girl!

An expression used to express praise and pride in what has just been done or accomplished by one's daughter, or, less often, one's girlfriend or another female with which one has a relationship of some kind. More...
Today's Holiday

Feast of Juul (2017)

The Feast of Juul was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the Winter Solstice. Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light, and life-giving properties of the returning sun. A Yule (or Juul) log was brought in with great ceremony and burned on the hearth in honor of the Scandinavian god Thor. A piece of the log was kept as both a token of good luck and as kindling for the following year's log. The present-day custom of lighting a Yule log at Christmas is believed to have originated in the bonfires associated with the Feast of Juul. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: luck

hapless, happiness - Hapless means one is lacking hap, "good fortune, luck"; the words happy and happiness also have the root "hap." More...

happen - Fairly new to English, from hap, "chance, luck," which was borrowed from Old Norse happ. More...

fortune - Latin fors, "chance," formed fortuna, "that which fate brings along," hence fortune, "luck" or "good luck." More...

potluck - Comes from the practice of throwing leftovers in a pot—with luck determining how good the stew would taste. More...

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