Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, November 22, 2018)
Word of the Day

histrionic

Definition:(adjective) Characteristic of acting or a stage performance; often affected.
Synonyms:melodramatic
Usage: Dorothea let out a histrionic groan and threw herself to the floor.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Constructing Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are made up of a verb + a preposition or an adverbial particle, and their meaning is uniquely tied to each particular combination. What is a particle? More...
Article of the Day

Fences

In the criminal world, a fence is someone who knowingly buys stolen property and later sells it in a legitimate market. Fences often earn large profits because thieves, unwilling to shoulder the risk and time commitment involved in selling stolen goods themselves, are willing to "fence" them for small sums. The use of the word as a verb is first attested to in about 1700 as thieves' slang for selling something under "defense of secrecy." Where do fences often sell their goods today? More...
This Day in History

Cutty Sark Is Launched (1869)

The tea trade in the 1860s and 70s was intensely competitive, with merchant ships racing to be the first to arrive in London with that year's crop from China. It was for this purpose that the three-masted clipper Cutty Sark was originally built. She became one of the swiftest and most celebrated British clippers, but within a few years of her launch, steamships had largely supplanted clippers in the tea trade, so she began carrying other cargos. What is the origin and meaning of her name? More...
Today's Birthday

George Eliot (1819)

Eliot, born Mary Ann Evans, was raised with a strong religious piety but broke with orthodoxy in her 20s and turned to fiction, writing such classic Victorian novels as Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda, and Middlemarch, in which she developed a method of psychological analysis that would become a characteristic of modern fiction. Although her novels are serious in tone, they still contain humorous moments. With which philosopher did Eliot have a lengthy, scandalous affair? More...
Quotation of the Day
The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.

James Madison (1751-1836)

Idiom of the Day

oat opera

A film or theatrical production about the American West (i.e., a western), especially one that is clichéd or formulaic. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Cecilia's Day (2021)

According to her apocryphal acts, which date from the fifth century, St. Cecilia was a Roman from a noble family who was put to death for her Christian beliefs; how she became the patron saint of music and musicians is not exactly known. In 1683, a musical society was formed in London especially for the celebration of St. Cecilia's Day. It held a festival each year at which a special ode was sung. The poet John Dryden composed his "A Song for St. Cecilia's Day" in 1687 for this purpose. There are still many choirs and musical societies that bear her name today. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: keyboard

fallboard - The hinged protective covering that protects the keyboard of a piano when it is not being played. More...

finger board - The part of a stringed instrument against which the fingers press the strings to vary the tone—as well as the keyboard of a piano, organ, etc. More...

home key - The home key is either of two keys on a keyboard acting as the base position for one's fingers in touch-typing (left F, right J). More...

octothorpe - The pound key on a keyboard or keypad is technically an octothorpe. More...

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