Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, January 10, 2020)
Word of the Day

nitty-gritty

Definition:(noun) The choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience.
Synonyms:essence, heart and soul, inwardness, gist, pith, substance, meat, nub, kernel, sum, core, marrow, center
Usage: While I will devote some time to Thomas Edison's personal life, his many inventions will compose the nitty-gritty of my presentation.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Identifying Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary verbs are verbs that add functional meaning to other "main" verbs in a clause. Auxiliary verbs can be identified by two main criteria. What are they? More...
Article of the Day

The Venerable Bede

Officially recognized as a saint in 1899, Bede (673?-735) was an English Benedictine monk who, from the age of seven, lived in monasteries and became probably the most learned man in Western Europe in his day. His writings, virtually a summary of the learning of his time, consist of theological, historical, and scientific treatises. He consulted many documents, discussed their reliability, and cited them as sources—highly unusual practices at the time. What dating method did he help popularize? More...
This Day in History

28,800 Floating Bath Toys Topple into Ocean (1992)

Children's bath toys may seem an unlikely source of oceanographic data, but that is just what they have been since 1992, when a shipment of Friendly Floatees from China went rogue while en route to Tacoma, Washington. It all began when 12 shipping containers went overboard during a storm in the Pacific. One broke open, releasing 28,800 toy ducks, beavers, frogs, and turtles into the water. Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer began tracking their progress after the first Floatees washed ashore where? More...
Today's Birthday

John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton (1834)

Denied admission to Cambridge University because of his Roman Catholicism, Acton studied instead in Munich. He went on to become a noted historian and member of English Parliament. Outspoken against arbitrary power, he was also an editor of a Catholic monthly but resigned due to papal criticism of his scientific approach to history. He coined the saying "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Another of Acton's sayings is that a strong man with a dagger is followed by whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
To depend upon a profession is a less odious form of slavery than to depend upon a father.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Idiom of the Day

be on (the) air

To be broadcasting live, as on television or radio. More...
Today's Holiday

Benin National Vodoun Day (2022)

Vodoun is an ancient, African, pantheistic religion. When it was brought to the Americas by African slaves, it was blended with elements of Christianity into what is known as "Voodoo." The present African country of Benin, situated on the former kingdom of Dahomey, is known as a center of Vodoun culture. The day is celebrated throughout Benin with processions, Vodoun rituals, dances, and even an international film festival. The celebration's central activity, however, is the re-enactment of the journey from the slave auction block in the center of town to the ships in the harbor. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: net

dream catcher - A decorative Native American object in the form of a hoop and net with attachments such as feathers. More...

net - As in "without deductions," it came from French net, "neat," and then evolved to mean" free from any (further) deduction." More...

reticule - An older term for a small handbag, it alludes to the fact that they were originally made of netted fabric—Latin rete, "net," became reticulum, "netted bag." More...

retina - From Latin rete, "net," as there is a net of nerves making up this layer of the eyeball. More...

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