Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, August 18, 2020)
Word of the Day

browbeat

Definition:(verb) Discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate.
Synonyms:bully, swagger
Usage: The police attempted to browbeat me into revealing my accomplices, but I would never squeal on my friends.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Modal Auxiliary Verbs

A modal auxiliary verb is used to change the meaning of other verbs by expressing possibility, likelihood, ability, permission, obligation, or future intention. How many "true" modal auxiliary verbs are there? More...
Article of the Day

Human Mail

Traveling by mail is both dangerous and illegal, yet several people throughout history braved the risks anyway. One famous case was that of Henry "Box" Brown, who escaped slavery in 1849 by shipping himself to an area of the US where slavery had been outlawed. Just a few years ago, a man escaped a German prison by mail. Though it is fairly rare in actuality, scenarios involving human mail frequently appear in works of fiction. What children's book features a protagonist who travels by mail? More...
This Day in History

Priest Urbain Grandier Burned at the Stake for Witchcraft (1634)

Grandier was a 17th-century French Catholic priest who was accused of bewitching the nuns of the Ursuline convent. Although he was acquitted by an ecclesiastical council, Grandier had published scathing criticisms of Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister and virtual ruler of France, who arranged to have him re-tried. Accused of having entered a pact with the devil, Grandier was tortured, found guilty, and burned at the stake. What was presented as evidence of the Grandier's diabolical pact? More...
Today's Birthday

Liviu Librescu (1930)

A Holocaust survivor, Professor Liviu Librescu had seen more than his fair share of death before April 16, 2007—Holocaust Remembrance Day—when a gunman tried to enter his classroom at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech. Librescu jumped into action, blocking the door to give his students time to escape through the windows. His heroic actions cost him his life; he was shot five times by the gunman. How many of his students did he manage to save? More...
Quotation of the Day
Circus, n.: A place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women, and children acting the fool.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

(as) mad as a wet hen

Enraged; extremely or inconsolably angry. More...
Today's Holiday

Gabon Independence Day (2021)

Gabon gained official independence from France on August 17, 1960, after more than a century of domination. August 17 is a public holiday, but celebrations often extend to the days before and after Independence Day, with parades and dancing. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: narrative

narratage - The technique of having one character in the role of storyteller or the act of inserting bits of explanation into a narrative. More...

narrative - First an adjective meaning "telling the facts of a story," from Latin narrare, which is also the base of narrate. More...

saga - Old Norse for "narrative." More...

diegesis - The narrative or plot. More...

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