Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, February 11, 2015)
Word of the Day

bravado

Definition:(noun) Defiant or swaggering behavior.
Synonyms:bluster
Usage: In a moment it was hand-to-hand fighting, and Trent was cursing already the bravado which had brought him out to the open.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Dummy Pronouns

Dummy pronouns are words that function grammatically as pronouns, but which do not have antecedents like normal pronouns do. This means that, unlike normal pronouns, dummy pronouns do not replace a noun, phrase, or clause. What do they refer to in a sentence? More...
Article of the Day

Phrenology

Phrenology is the study of the shape of the human skull in order to draw conclusions about particular character traits and mental faculties. Phrenologists believe that traits like intelligence are mirrored through elevations in the skull overlying particular areas of the brain. German physiologist Franz Joseph Gall developed the theory around 1800, but modern neurology and physical anthropology regard phrenology as a form of quackery. What is the difference between phrenology and craniometry? More...
This Day in History

Tewodros II Crowned Emperor of Ethiopia (1855)

Often called Ethiopia's first modern ruler, Tewodros was a bold and clever warrior who came to the throne through the conquest of other chiefs, reunifying the various Ethiopian kingdoms into one empire. He attempted to modernize the country, abolish feudalism and slavery, and focus loyalty around the government rather than the church but failed to achieve this during his reign. His later years were marked with instability and cruelty. Why did he assume the name Tewodros upon taking the throne? More...
Today's Birthday

Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (1380)

An Italian humanist and calligrapher, Poggio Bracciolini is remembered today for two reasons. As a secretary, historian, and copyist, he uncovered many forgotten and neglected Latin manuscripts—including works by Cicero and Lucretius—that might otherwise have been lost to history. He is also famous for his extraordinarily beautiful and legible handwriting, which was later developed into roman type, the predecessor of almost all non-italic fonts. Whose handwriting was the basis for italic fonts? More...
Quotation of the Day
We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

lose the number of (one's) mess

obsolete military and naval To die or be killed. More...
Today's Holiday

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (2018)

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes commemorates the first of 18 appearances of the Virgin Mary to a 14-year-old French peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous. The young girl's visions occurred between February 11 and July 16, 1858, near the town of Lourdes. The Virgin led her to a nearby grotto, and the miraculous spring that appeared there has been associated ever since with the power to heal. Some five million people a year make the pilgrimage to Lourdes, making it one of the world's major pilgrimage sites. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: silent

tacit - One of its early meanings was "wordless, noiseless," from Latin tacere, "be silent." More...

reticent - Based on Latin tacere, combined with re-, an intensive prefix. More...

silent - From Latin silere, "be silent." More...

mumchance - To be mumchance is to be dumbstruck and silent. More...

In the News

Canes and Walkers May Increase Fall Risk

Many elderly people use canes and walkers to get around, but a new study reveals how dangerous these aids can be when used without proper training. Untrained users tend to drag the cane or walker, thus creating a dangerous gait pattern that increases the risk of falling. The study focused on 43 older adults in an assisted living facility and found that those using walking aids were nearly four times more likely to fall than those without aids. Experts recommend training individuals to use such devices as well as instructing them in balance recovery and gait exercises. More...
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