Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, February 7, 2015)
Word of the Day

apprise

Definition:(verb) To give notice to; inform.
Synonyms:notify, advise
Usage: During the drive home from the airport, they had time to apprise her of everything that had changed since she had been gone.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Phrases

Grammatical phrases are groups of two or more words that work together to perform a single grammatical function in a sentence. What is an appositive phrase? More...
Article of the Day

The History of the Jelly Bean

The jelly bean is a type of confection that has a hardened sugar coating over a chewy center. “Turkish Delight,” a Middle Eastern candy consisting of jellylike cubes covered with powdered sugar, likely inspired the gummy interior of the jelly bean. It is generally thought that jelly beans first became popular in 1861 when Boston confectioner William Schrafft urged people to send his jelly beans to soldiers during the American Civil War. When did jelly beans become associated with Easter? More...
This Day in History

The New Madrid Earthquake (1812)

One of the largest earthquakes ever to strike the US—and possibly one of the strongest earthquakes in human history—the New Madrid earthquake is said to have made the Mississippi River run backwards, permanently changing its course and redefining state boundaries. Though it struck a sparsely populated area near modern-day New Madrid, Missouri, the quake was felt across the country, ringing church bells as far away as Boston, Massachusetts. What large lake did it create in Tennessee? More...
Today's Birthday

Anna of Russia (1693)

When the young Peter II of Russia died without an heir, the Supreme Privy Council offered the throne to his distant cousin, Anna, under the condition that she would place the real power in the council's hands. She initially agreed, but then tore up the conditions, abolished the council, and restored the autocracy. She occupied herself with extravagant amusements and relied on her lover and foreign advisors to manage the state. What happened to the infant grandnephew she named as her successor? More...
Quotation of the Day
Conscience—the only incorruptible thing about us.

Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

Idiom of the Day

lose (one's) bearings

To lose sight of or become unable to determine one's orientation, position, or abilities relative to one's surroundings or situation. More...
Today's Holiday

Grenada Independence Day (2018)

This is a national holiday commemorating Grenada's independence from Britain on this day in 1974. Britain had held the island since the 18th century, when France ceded it under the Treaty of Paris. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: soften

emollient, emolliate - Emollient is from Latin emolliere, "to soften"; to emolliate is to soften or make effeminate. More...

macerate - Meaning "to soften," it comes from Greek massein, "knead." More...

lenify, lenity - To lenify is to alleviate or soothe an emotion or suffering, from Latin lenire, "soften"; lenity means kindness or gentleness. More...

amalgamate - Seems to go back to Greek malagma, "softening." More...

In the News

Gas Station Attendant Donates Secret Fortune

Before his death last year at 92, Ronald Read was known around his hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont, as a private, frugal man who worked as a janitor and gas station attendant and could often be found collecting fallen branches for his wood stove. His daily habit of reading The Wall Street Journal seemed inconsistent with his lifestyle only until last week, when his local hospital and library received their largest bequests ever—donations from Read totaling $6 million. It turns out Read was a shrewd investor who amassed an $8 million fortune with his savvy stock picks. More...
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