Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, July 24, 2016)
Word of the Day

skinflint

Definition:(noun) A selfish person who is unwilling to give or spend.
Synonyms:scrooge, churl, niggard
Usage: He had earned for himself the reputation of an awful skinflint, of a miser in the matter of living.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using Predicate Nouns

Predicate nouns are a subset of a larger category known as "subject complements," which rename or re-identify the subject. What type of verb do subject complements follow? More...
Article of the Day

The Philosopher's Stone

Long sought as the "holy grail" of Western alchemy, the philosopher's stone is a legendary substance that is supposedly capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold and is believed by some to have the power to restore youth. At one time, alchemists believed a key ingredient of the stone was a mythical element called "carmot." According to legend, to whom did 13th-century scientist Albertus Magnus give the philosopher's stone after discovering it shortly before his death? More...
This Day in History

The Eastland Disaster (1915)

Launched in 1903, the passenger ship Eastland was plagued with problems from the start. That year alone, the Eastland was damaged after colliding with another ship, and, in an unrelated event, its crew mutinied. Prone to instability and listing, the ship met with disaster in 1915 when it rolled over while still moored to the wharf of the Chicago River, killing more than 840 people shortly after boarding. How did the sinking of the Titanic impact the Eastland disaster? More...
Today's Birthday

Alexandre Dumas (1802)

Dumas was a largely self-educated French novelist and dramatist whose highly romantic novels immortalizing the adventures of the Three Musketeers and the Count of Monte Cristo have delighted many generations of readers. These historical novels, written with the aid of collaborators, are often scorned by critics, who find them lacking in style and characterization, but they have had enormous popularity. In 2005, Dumas's recently discovered last novel was published. Who wrote its final chapters? More...
Quotation of the Day
The distinction between freedom and liberty is not accurately known; naturalists have never been able to find a living specimen of either.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

be on (one's) best behavior

To be very polite or exercise exceptionally good manners. Primarily heard in US. More...
Today's Holiday

Tenjin Matsuri (2018)

The Tenjin Festival in Japan honors the scholar and statesman Sugawara Michizane (845-903), who was deified as Tenjin after his death. The festival opens at the Temmangu Shrine with the beating of the Moyooshi Daiko, a drum about five feet in diameter. The drum-cart is followed by a masked figure who represents Sarutahiko, the deity who led all the other gods to Japan. Most important is the mikoshi—the decorated shrine in which the soul of Tenjin is believed to reside. In the evening, the parade moves to the river, with numerous boats carrying glowing lanterns. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: zero

aught - Another word for "nothing, zero." More...

zero, cipher - Zero and cipher come from Arabic sifr, "nought, zero," from Sanskrit sunya, "empty." More...

lay an egg - The egg in "to lay an egg" refers to "zero." More...

googol - Coined when mathematician Edward Kasner asked his nephew to create a word for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. More...

In the News

What Made the Right Eye of the 'Man in the Moon'?

Where did the "Man in the Moon" come from, that fabled face that stares down at us from the lunar surface? We may not have all the answers, but new research has at least shed some light on one of the eyes – his right one, to be exact. Or, the left one, if ... More...
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