Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, August 1, 2015)
Word of the Day

excursus

Definition:(noun) A message that departs from the main subject.
Synonyms:digression, divagation, parenthesis, aside
Usage: After yet another long excursus on the subject of housecats, the absent-minded professor finally returned to his main point.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Expressing Equality Using "As … As"

One way of expressing similarities, differences, or changes with comparative adverbs is by using the structure "as … as." What construction do we use to describe two things as equal? More...
Article of the Day

Ethel Merman

Merman was a Tony Award winning star of film and stage. Her precise enunciation, wide vocal range, and accurate pitch garnered her much acclaim. She began singing while working as a secretary and eventually became a full time vaudeville performer. Her powerful alto voice afforded her great advantages at a time when stage singers performed without microphones. She made her theater debut in Girl Crazy (1930). According to Broadway lore, what did George Gershwin advise her never to do? More...
This Day in History

The Swiss Confederation Is Formed (1291)

Despite its ethnic and religious diversity, Switzerland has maintained one of the world's oldest democracies for more than 700 years. Concerned about the encroaching Habsburg Empire, the three mountain communes of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden formed a defensive league in 1291, laying the foundations of the Swiss Confederation. Today, Switzerland is well known for its neutrality and reluctance to join the European Union. In 2002, it became one of the last nations to do what? More...
Today's Birthday

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (10 BCE)

The nephew of Tiberius, Claudius became the Roman emperor unexpectedly, after Caligula was murdered. Sickly, unattractive, and scholarly, he tended to disfavor the upper classes and cater to the freedmen. He expanded the frontiers, invading Britain in 43 CE. He spent lavishly on public works and extended Roman citizenship throughout the empire. Having executed his scheming third wife, he married his niece, who then likely poisoned him. What modern diagnoses might explain his lifelong ill health? More...
Quotation of the Day
Democracy is the healthful lifeblood which circulates through the veins and arteries, which supports the system, but which ought never to appear externally, and as the mere blood itself.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Idiom of the Day

out of steam

Completely exhausted, fatigued, or without energy or motivation. More...
Today's Holiday

Benin Independence Day (2020)

On August 1, 1960, Benin declared its independence from France, ending 70 years as a French colony. Independence Day is a national holiday observed throughout the country, especially in the capital city of Porto Novo. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: vote

co-opt - "To select (someone) for a group or club by a vote of members," it is from Latin cooptare, "to choose as a colleague or member of one's tribe"; its sense of "take over" came by 1953. More...

ostracism - In ancient Greece, when it was proposed that a person be sent into exile, a vote was taken and the method of registering the vote involved putting the name on a piece of broken pottery called ostrakon; casting the vote was ostrakizein, giving us English ostracism. More...

red state, blue state - A red state is any U.S. state that tends to vote for candidates of the Republican party in a general election; a blue state votes for Democratic candidates. More...

chirotonize - To elect by voting or to vote. More...

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