Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, February 24, 2021)
Word of the Day

excrescence

Definition:(noun) Something that bulges out or is protuberant or projects from its surroundings.
Synonyms:extrusion, gibbosity, hump, jut, bulge, protrusion, protuberance, swelling, bump, prominence
Usage: A roof, Richard contended, was a part of the edifice that the ancients always endeavored to conceal, it being an excrescence in architecture that was only to be tolerated on account of its usefulness.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Other Interrogative Pronouns

In addition to the five main interrogative pronouns, there are seven others that are used for emphatic purposes. These interrogative pronouns are typically used in more formal or old-fashioned English. What are they? More...
Article of the Day

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

One of the most important silent films of all time, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse established actor Rudolph Valentino as a superstar, inspired a tango craze, and beat out Charlie Chaplin's The Kid to become the highest-grossing film of 1921. It is considered to be among the first anti-war films ever made, and its success made producer June Mathis a powerful woman in Hollywood. Why does Valentino scornfully cast aside his partner at the end of the film's famous tango scene? More...
This Day in History

Diocletian Publishes Edict Calling for Persecution of Christians (303 CE)

Though the Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered the persecution of Christians several times, his so-called Great Persecution began with an official edict. Churches were razed, scriptures burned, and practitioners executed. A few years later, he became the first Roman emperor to voluntarily abdicate, after which he retired to Croatia to grow cabbages in peace. The reign of Constantine soon made Christianity the empire's preferred religion. When asked to return to the throne, how did Diocletian reply? More...
Today's Birthday

Jacques de Vaucanson (1709)

The mechanically gifted 10th child of a French glove-maker, Vaucanson created some of the world's first robots. His famous gold-plated "Digesting Duck" had hundreds of moving parts and could eat, drink, and defecate. In 1745, weavers pelted Vaucanson with stones when he created the first fully-automated loom, which utilized punch-card technology. Decades later, his ideas would prove pivotal to the Industrial Revolution. How many songs could his mechanical flutist perform? More...
Quotation of the Day
To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new propaganda, is a weakness still dominating the human mind.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

Idiom of the Day

latchkey kid

A child who is home alone after school or in general because their parents or guardians are at work. More...
Today's Holiday

N'cwala (2021)

In 1835, the Ngoni tribe left South Africa and moved into what is now the country of Zambia. The N'cwala festival celebrates the tribe's satisfaction with its environs since that time, and also marks the beginning of the harvest. This is a festival of thanksgiving and people congregate in the village of Mutenguleni, including the paramount chief. Groups of dancers display their skills for the chief, who traditionally chooses one group as having outdone the others. The chief is also responsible for being the first to sample the season's new foods and blessing it for the people. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: railway

Main Line - The principal line of a railway (1841), it also has the meaning "affluent area of residence" (1930s), originally that of Philadelphia, from the "main line" of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which added local stops to a string of backwater towns west of the city in late 19th century that helped turn them into fashionable suburbs. More...

one-track mind - Is a reference to the railway. More...

railway - The word was first recorded in 1776, but the first actual railway opened nearly 50 years later, in 1825. More...

sidetrack - First used for a railway siding or a minor track or path. More...

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