Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, August 3, 2016)
Word of the Day

congeries

Definition:(noun) A sum total of many heterogeneous things taken together.
Synonyms:conglomeration, aggregate
Usage: The top floor is devoted to the servants—a congeries of little kitchens and cubicles, used by many as lumber-rooms.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Irregular Superlative Adverbs

Just as there are irregular adverbs, there are irregular superlative adverbs. "Least" is an example of an irregular superlative adverb. What are some others? More...
Article of the Day

The Derveni Papyrus

The Derveni Papyrus, Europe's oldest surviving manuscript, is an ancient Greek papyrus scroll dating to approximately 340 BCE. Found in Derveni, in northern Greece, in 1962, the scroll is an allegorical commentary on a poem ascribed to the mythic poet Orpheus which discusses the birth of the gods. It begins with the words "Close the doors, you uninitiated," a famous admonition to secrecy. The text was officially published how many years after its discovery in 1962? More...
This Day in History

The National Basketball Association Is Founded (1949)

Prior to 1949, there were two main rival basketball organizations in the US—the National Basketball League, which had been founded in 1937, and the Basketball Association of America, which had been founded nearly a decade later. They merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949 and racially integrated the following year. In 1995, the NBA expanded to include two Canadian teams, and in 1996, a women's league was founded. What rule, instituted in 1954, encouraged more shooting? More...
Today's Birthday

Elisha Graves Otis (1811)

By 1852, Otis had already devised several inventions, including a safety brake for trains. While setting up a factory that year, he developed an automatic safety device to prevent heavy machinery from falling if a rope broke while the machinery was being hoisted. The first fail-safe, fall-safe passenger elevator quickly followed. It made possible the construction of skyscrapers, greatly altering the landscape of modern cities. What daring publicity stunt helped launch sales of Otis's elevators? More...
Quotation of the Day
There is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind, that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

circle the drain

To be in a state of severe deterioration such that one is approaching inevitable ruin, failure, or death. Usually used in the continuous form. More...
Today's Holiday

Devi Dhura Mela (2020)

Held at the same time as Raksha Bhandan, this two-day festival is observed in the small town of Devi Dhura in Uttar Pradesh, India, at the shrine of Varahi Devi or Bhagwati, an incarnation of Durga. Processions from the other villages stream in to Devi Dhura, led by dancers. On the second day, the bagwals assemble at Kholi Khan, a flat yard next to the shrine. These are groups of men who have been selected to participate in an unusual stone-throwing ritual. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: vapor

atmosphere - Derives from Greek atmos, "vapor," and sphaira, "globe," and is literally "ball of vapor." More...

brume, brumous - Brume is a poetic term meaning "mist, fog, or vapor"; brumous means "foggy." More...

damp - The noun first meant "vapor, steam," or "smoke"—especially that which was harmful or noxious. More...

transpire - Had an early sense of "emit as vapor through the surface"—from trans-, "through," and spirare, "breathe." More...

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