Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, October 26, 2020)
Word of the Day

countermand

Definition:(verb) To cancel or reverse (a previously issued command or order).
Synonyms:repeal, rescind, annul, revoke, vacate, reverse, overturn, lift
Usage: Countermand the order for cake, send a wire putting off the wedding, dismiss the bridesmaids, [and] tell the organist he can stop practicing.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using "Could" to Ask for Permission

When we ask someone for permission to do something, it is often considered more polite to use "could" instead of "can." However, we can only make this substitution in what situation? More...
Article of the Day

Daedalus

In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a brilliant craftsman whose inventions often went awry. On Crete, he inadvertently helped create the fearsome Minotaur. At the order of King Minos, he built a labyrinth to contain the monster, but Theseus successfully navigated it to kill the beast. While imprisoned by Minos, Daedalus crafted wings of wax and feathers so he and his son Icarus could escape. Sadly, Icarus fell to his death when the sun melted his wings. Why had Daedalus originally fled to Crete? More...
This Day in History

USA PATRIOT Act Signed into Law (2001)

Enacted quickly and with little opposition in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the sweeping USA PATRIOT Act dramatically enhanced the powers of law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies within the US. The bill has since come under increasing scrutiny and criticism, and aspects of it have faced legal challenges in the courts. After it was renewed in 2006, most of its sections became permanent. What section of the act has riled librarians in particular? More...
Today's Birthday

Mahalia Jackson (1911)

As a child, Jackson sang at the New Orleans church where her father preached. After moving to Chicago, she sang with a touring gospel quintet. Her warm, powerful voice first came to wider public attention in the 1930s. Called "The Queen of Gospel," she sang at an inaugural party for US President John F. Kennedy, at the 1963 March on Washington, and at the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite many offers, she refused to sing secular songs. Jackson was born with what physical deformity? More...
Quotation of the Day
All nature wears one universal grin.

Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

Idiom of the Day

in the eye of (something)

At, in, or amidst the central or focal point of something. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Demetrius's Day (2020)

St. Demetrius is the patron saint of Salonika (Thessalonike) in northeastern Greece, near where he was martyred, perhaps during the fourth century. His feast day marks the beginning of winter for farmers, and a spell of warm weather after October 26 is often called "the little summer" or "the summer of St. Demetrius." It is a day for opening and tasting the season's new wines. St. Demetrius is also the patron saint of soldiers. October 26 is also the anniversary of the liberation of Salonika from the Turks in 1912. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: leader

coryphaeus - A Greek word meaning "chief," for the leader of a party, sect, school of thought, etc. More...

herald - Etymologically, a "leader of an army," from Germanic kharjaz, "army." More...

hegemon - A Greek word for "leader." More...

nestorian, nestor - Nestorian means wise and aged, and a nestor is a senior figure or leader in one's field. More...

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