Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, February 7, 2018)
Word of the Day

madcap

Definition:(adjective) Characterized by undue haste and lack of thought or deliberation.
Synonyms:brainish, impetuous, tearaway, hotheaded, impulsive
Usage: This madcap quest of mine, was it not understood between us...to be a fantastic whim, a poetical wild-goose chase, conceived entirely as an excuse for being some time in each other's company?
Daily Grammar Lesson

Adjectival Prepositional Phrases

When a prepositional phrase modifies a noun, pronoun, gerund, or noun phrase (all of which function grammatically as nouns), it is considered to function as an adjective within the sentence. We call these "adjectival prepositional phrases," or sometimes just "adjective prepositional phrases." Where do they always appear in relation to the noun they are modifying? More...
Article of the Day

Parietal Eyes

Lizards, frogs, lampreys, and some fish species possess a unique organ known as a third, or parietal, eye. Though referred to as an "eye," this photoreceptive organ does not "see" in the same way that a standard eye does. Instead, it uses a different biochemical method of detecting light than normal eyes and helps regulate circadian rhythms and hormone production for thermoregulation. The parietal eye is associated with what gland that humans, too, possess? 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
Family likeness has often a deep sadness in it. Nature, that great tragic dramatist, knits us together by bone and muscle, and divides us by the subtler web of our brains; blends yearning and repulsion; and ties us by our heart-strings to the beings that jar us at every movement.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

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...

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