Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, June 26, 2016)
Word of the Day

vapid

Definition:(adjective) Lacking taste, zest, or flavor; flat.
Synonyms:flavorless, insipid, savorless, bland, flat
Usage: The bar was rundown and filthy, serving vapid beer and stale peanuts.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are used in interrogative sentences to ask questions, functioning either as the subject or object of such sentences. Most often, interrogative pronouns are used in what type of questions? More...
Article of the Day

Cuteness

The kind of innocent and youthful attractive beauty that we call cuteness may be a key to survival. Zoologist Konrad Lorenz, who first introduced it as a scientific concept in the study of animal behavior, argued in 1949 that cuteness—characterized by a combination of infantile features, such as big eyes, big heads, and shortened noses—triggers nurturing responses in adults, ultimately securing the survival of the species. What human behavior did Lorenz use as evidence of his theory? More...
This Day in History

"Ich bin ein Berliner" (1963)

In 1963, US President John F. Kennedy traveled to West Berlin to show support for those living behind the Berlin Wall, hemmed in by Soviet-controlled East Germany. Considered a key moment in the Cold War, Kennedy's speech boosted morale for West Germans, who feared Communist occupation. Kennedy was apparently coached on the pronunciation of the famous line "Ich bin ein Berliner"—"I am a Berliner"—just before taking the stage. Why has it been reported that he in fact said "I am a jelly doughnut"? More...
Today's Birthday

George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon (1866)

An enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist, Carnarvon was an English aristocrat who funded several excavations in Egypt. After pursuits in Thebes, he joined forces with English Egyptologist Howard Carter to search for Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings. In 1922, the two opened the young Pharaoh's crypt, discovering treasures unsurpassed in the history of archaeology. Carnarvon's death a year after the discovery became linked to the legendary "Mummy's Curse." What really killed him? More...
Quotation of the Day
We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Idiom of the Day

a modest proposal

An extreme, unorthodox, and often provocative or distasteful remedy to a complex problem, generally suggested humorously or satirically. (An allusion to Jonathan Swift's 1729 essay A Modest Proposal, in which he suggests that the poor of Ireland could alleviate their woes by selling their children as food.) More...
Today's Holiday

Kiel Week (2018)

Kiel Week is an international sailing regatta in Kiel, Germany, in the last week of June, at which the world's leading yachters compete. Craft of all sorts—sail, motor, and muscle-powered—race on the waters of the Kiel Fjord. Kiel Week began in 1882 with 20 yachts; today there are well over 1,000 yachts competing in three classes of races—international, Olympic, and offshore regattas—as well as more than 1,000 events ranging from talks by international political leaders to art exhibits, theater, and music. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: umbrella

umbrella - Etymologically, it is a "little shadow." More...

parapluie - A French word for umbrella, derived from Latin pluvia, "rain." More...

bumbershoot - Another word for umbrella, formed by combining an alteration of the word umbrella and an alteration of the word parachute. More...

nuclear umbrella - A protective status in which a nuclear state promises to use its arsenal to defend an ally without nuclear capabilities. More...

In the News

A Texan Went to the Hospital for Surgery and Woke up with a British Accent.

Lisa Alamia had the jaw surgery in December. She underwent the procedure to correct a serious overbite, and it was a success, according to Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. The 33-year-old woke up and had minimal swelling. But then she began to talk. And ... More...
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