Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, January 16, 2020)
Word of the Day

friable

Definition:(adjective) Easily broken into small fragments or reduced to powder.
Synonyms:crumbly
Usage: The men disturbed the loose, friable earth of the slope ... disclosing human bones already nearly uncovered by the action of water and frost.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining Brackets

Brackets ( [ ] ) are similar to parentheses in that they are used to contain information that does not impact the overall grammatical structure of the sentence. What are brackets usually used to indicate within quoted speech? More...
Article of the Day

Pontus

Pontus was an ancient region in northeast Asia Minor on the coast of the Black Sea. It became an independent kingdom with its capital at Amasia in the 4th century BCE. At the height of its influence under King Mithradates VI, it controlled all of Asia Minor. It continued expanding its borders until 66 BCE, when Mithradates was defeated by the Roman general Pompey the Great and Pontus was incorporated into the Roman Empire. What popular fruit of the rose family is thought to be native to Pontus? More...
This Day in History

Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote Is Published (1605)

A founding work of modern Western literature, Cervantes's Don Quixote presents a profound picture of the divide between idealistic and realistic world views. A burlesque of chivalric romances, it was an immediate success. In 1614, a spurious Part II was published by an unidentified author who insulted Cervantes in his prologue. Offended, Cervantes responded by publishing his own Part II, which some literary critics consider superior to Part I. What is Don Quixote's real name in the book? More...
Today's Birthday

Eric Henry Liddell (1902)

Liddell was a Scottish athlete and missionary. Because of his Christian convictions, Liddell refused to run track events on Sundays, a decision that forced him to withdraw from his best event, the 100-meter sprint, during the 1924 Paris Olympics. Instead, he ran the 400 meters, winning the gold medal and breaking the existing world record. His story is depicted in the Academy Award-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Why is he listed in some literature as China's first Olympic champion? More...
Quotation of the Day
Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prism are all very good words for the lips: especially prunes and prism.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Idiom of the Day

throw (some) shapes

slang To dance, especially to popular music. Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival (2020)

This extravaganza of ice sculptures takes place from January 5 through February in the port city of Harbin, the second largest city of northeast China, located in Heilongjiang Province. The sculptures, using themes of ancient legends and stories and modern historic events, depict pavilions, temples, and mythic animals and persons. Located in Zhaolin Park, they shimmer in the sun by day, and at night are illuminated in a rainbow of colors. Theatrical events, art exhibitions, and a photo exhibition mark festival time, and wedding ceremonies are often scheduled in the ice-filled park. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: troops

squadron - Borrowed from Italian squadrone, from Latin quadrare, "square"; the sense of "military group" comes from an earlier "square formation of troops." More...

campaign - First meant an open tract of land, from Latin campus, "level ground," and the change to a military meaning came from troops "taking the field"—moving from fortress or town to open country—from which the political sense evolved, referring to the organized efforts of office-seekers to sway public opinion or influence their vote at an upcoming election. More...

echelon - Comes from French echelle, "ladder," from Latin scala, and first meant a formation of troops. More...

corporal - Its military meaning came from "the head of a body of troops," from French caporale. More...

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