Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, August 28, 2019)
Word of the Day

scarecrow

Definition:(noun) An effigy in the shape of a man to frighten birds away from seeds.
Synonyms:straw man
Usage: She was determined, therefore, to contrive as lifelike a scarecrow as ever was seen … so that it should begin its sentinel's duty that very morning.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Object Complements

An object complement is a word or group of words that describes, renames, or completes the direct object of the verb. Which parts of speech can be object complements? More...
Article of the Day

Wardian Cases

The forerunner of the modern terrarium, the Wardian case was a small glass container for housing ferns and similar plants. It was invented in 1829 by physician and amateur botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward after he noticed that, though the polluted London air was taking a toll on ferns in his garden, fern spores inside the glass bottles where he kept cocoons were germinating. His invention allowed plants to be shipped great distances and helped advance the Victorian craze for growing what flower? More...
This Day in History

"I Have a Dream," Says Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the largest civil-rights demonstrations ever conducted in the US. More than 200,000 people heard civil-rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech, which is considered one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory. However, his prepared text did not mention a dream—King composed that section on the spot, likely at the urging of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. For how long did King speak? More...
Today's Birthday

George Hoyt Whipple (1878)

Whipple was a US pathologist, who, together with colleagues, discovered that a diet including raw liver could treat pernicious anemia, then a fatal disease. For his efforts, he shared a 1934 Nobel Prize. Whipple's study of bile pigments led to an interest in how the body makes hemoglobin, and his experiments in artificial anemia established iron as the most potent inorganic factor in the formation of red blood cells. He was also the first person to describe what previously unknown disease? More...
Quotation of the Day
I am a lover and have not found my thing to love.

Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941)

Idiom of the Day

banged up

Hurt. Damaged (often from use or wear). More...
Today's Holiday

Tomatina (2019)

Regardless of which legend one believes, what began in 1945 as a few tossed tomatoes as a show of disdain has developed into full-fledged tomato warfare in Buñol, Valencia, Spain, on the last Wednesday in August. Residents prepare for the impending food fight by protecting their storefronts and homes with plastic and donning special clothing. Thousands of pounds of tomatoes are trucked into town and dropped off at the Plaza del Pueblo, and the light-hearted battle commences. After the cleanup, celebrants continue to enjoy the festival's fireworks, parades, food, and music. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: lessen

alleviate - Can mean "diminish the weight of"; to alleviate is not to cure, but rather to lighten, lessen, or relieve to some degree. More...

minute, second - Latin minutus, "small," came from minuere, "lessen," and the term pars minuta prima, "first small part," was applied to a 60th of a whole—a minute, originally of a circle and later of an hour; likewise, a second was originally a secunda minuta, a 60th of a 60th. More...

mince - Can mean "lessen or diminish (something)" or "minimize." More...

bated breath - The expression is based on bate, meaning "to moderate, restrain" or "to lessen, diminish"; though bated was once rather common, it is now rare except in this set expression. More...

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