Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, September 12, 2015)
Word of the Day

danseuse

Definition:(noun) A woman who is a ballet dancer.
Synonyms:ballerina
Usage: The painting depicted a beautiful danseuse putting on her ballet shoes while waiting in the wings of the theater.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining Voice

Voice is a grammatical feature that describes the relationship between the verb and the subject in a sentence. There are two main types of voice: active voice and passive voice. There is also a third type of voice that is less commonly used. What is it called? More...
Article of the Day

Salman Rushdie

Rushdie is a British-Indian novelist known for the allusive richness of his language and the wide variety of Eastern and Western characters and cultures he explores. After his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses was deemed sacrilegious, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or legal ruling, sentencing him to death. Rushdie was forced into hiding, where he wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories, a novelistic allegory against censorship. What is the fatwa's current status? More...
This Day in History

Elizabeth Barrett Elopes with Robert Browning (1846)

Elizabeth Barrett's Poems, published in 1844, brought her immediate fame and became a favorite of the poet Robert Browning. The two began to correspond, fell in love, and, after a courtship kept secret from her tyrannical father, married and settled in Italy. The once frail and sickly Elizabeth grew stronger and, at age 43, gave birth to a son. Her poetic reputation rests chiefly on the love poems written during their courtship, Sonnets from the Portuguese. Who is "the Portuguese"? More...
Today's Birthday

Alfred A. Knopf (1892)

Knopf was a leading American publisher of the 20th century who founded Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., in 1915. He emphasized translations of great contemporary European literature, at that time neglected by American publishers, and paid special attention to the printing, binding, and design of his books, earning a reputation as a purist in both content and presentation. By the time of his death, authors published by the firm had won 16 Nobel and 27 Pulitzer prizes. What was his colophon? More...
Quotation of the Day
Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Idiom of the Day

canary in a coal mine

Something or someone who, due to sensitivity to his, her, or its surroundings, acts as an indicator and early warning of possible adverse conditions or danger. Refers to the former practice of taking caged canaries into coal mines. The birds would die if methane gas became present and thereby alert miners to the danger. More...
Today's Holiday

Festival of St. Nichiren's Pardon (2016)

At the Botamochi Temple in Kamakura, Japan, this festival honors St. Nichiren (1222-1282), considered to be Japan's most fervent Buddhist priest. He was exiled to the island of Sado in the Sea of Japan in 1271. After four years there, he returned and spent the rest of his life on Mount Minobu. The Festival of Nichiren's Pardon is observed by members of the Nichiren sect with massive demonstrations and the loud chanting of prayers attributed to Nichiren, accompanied by the beating of drums. People make offerings of botamochi, rice balls covered with sweet bean paste, in his honor. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: signature

allograph - A signature or writing done for another person. More...

moniker - Originally meant a mark left by a tramp on a building or fence to indicate he/she had been there; therefore, a tramp's moniker identified him/her like a signature. More...

signature block - The typed or printed name and title of a person appearing below a signature at the bottom of a letter, e-mail, etc. More...

paraph - As a verb, to divide into paragraphs; the noun can mean a flourish made after a signature, especially to make it unique. More...

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