Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, July 28, 2020)
Word of the Day

dither

Definition:(noun) An excited state of agitation.
Synonyms:fuss, pother, tizzy, flap
Usage: I was in such a dither while getting dressed this morning that I accidentally left the house with mismatched shoes.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Negative Adverbs and Inversion

Negative adverbs are often placed in the middle of a sentence, but it's also very common for negative adverbs to appear at the beginning of a sentence. When we place the negative adverb at the beginning of the sentence, we must use inversion. What does that mean? More...
Article of the Day

Harlequinade

Harlequinade was a type of theatrical performance popular in 18th-century Britain. It was a slapstick adaptation of the commedia dell'arte, itself a 16th-century Italian comedy tradition featuring stock characters in improvised performances. A typical Harlequinade showcased a series of interwoven scenes culminating in a skit about the clever protagonist Harlequin and his love interest, Columbine. Which Harlequinade character became so popular that he remains instantly recognizable today? More...
This Day in History

Thomas Cromwell Is Executed (1540)

Arguably the architect of the Reformation, Cromwell was an English statesman who gained nearly complete control of the government as the closest advisor of King Henry VIII of England. Cromwell abused his power but only fell from Henry's favor after convincing him to marry Anne of Cleves, whom Henry found unattractive. After the marriage fizzled, Anne was sent away with a generous pension, but Cromwell was beheaded—on the same day that Henry did what? More...
Today's Birthday

Malcolm Lowry (1909)

Lowry was an English writer known for his articulation of the spiritual desolation of the modern individual. His reputation rests on the semi-autobiographical 1947 novel Under the Volcano. Set in Mexico—from which Lowry was once deported—it recounts the last day of a dispirited, alcoholic, former British consul. Though critically praised, it received popular recognition only after Lowry's death—probably from the effects of alcoholism—at 47. What is listed as his official cause of death? More...
Quotation of the Day
Certainly virtue is like precious odors, most fragrant when they are incensed, or crushed: for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Idiom of the Day

Humpty Dumptyism

The act or practice of misusing or misinterpreting a word, phrase, or article of text to suit one's own meaning or purpose. Taken from the character Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, who states, "When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean." More...
Today's Holiday

Dodge City Days (2020)

Dodge City's name alone is enough to conjure up memories of the Old West for the residents of Kansas and the surrounding states who come here to celebrate Dodge City Days every summer. There are staged shootouts between "Marshal Dillon" and the bad guys, a rodeo, a horse show, and parades featuring costumed characters from the Old West on horseback. In recent years the festival has featured entertainment by top country-and-western music stars, and the events have expanded to include a golf tournament, auto racing, and other decidedly non-traditional activities. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: trifle

bagatelle - From French or Italian for "trick" or "trifle." More...

burlesque - From French, which got it from Italian burlesco, a derivative of burla, "joke, fun"—which may have come from Latin burra, "trifle." More...

trifle - In the sense of the dessert, it gets its name from being a "light" confection. More...

trifle - From French truffle/truffe, "deceit, trickery." More...

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