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Word of the Day



Definition: (noun) One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another.
Usage:An avowed disciple of Jonson and his classicism and a greater poet than Fletcher is Robert Herrick, who, indeed, after Shakespeare and Milton, is the finest lyric poet of these two centuries. Discuss.

Article of the Day


The Sonnet

A sonnet is a poem with 14 lines, invented in 13th-century Italy and perfected by Petrarch. The Italian sonnet is divided into an octave and a sestet. The octave states a problem, and the sestet gives its resolution, with a clear break between the two sections. When the sonnet reached England in the 16th century—chiefly through translations of Petrarch's works—poets changed its meter, rhyme scheme, and line grouping, creating the Elizabethan sonnet. What is the origin of the term "sonnet"? More... Discuss

In the News


Navajos Win Bidding War to Buy Back Sacred Artifacts

After failing to stop an auction of artifacts held sacred by their tribe and others, members of the Navajo Nation outbid art collectors to win the objects in Paris this week. The auction was conducted despite efforts by the tribes and US government officials, who requested that the sale be postponed until the items' provenance was determined. The artifacts include several Navajo ceremonial masks dating to the 19th and early 20th century, as well as dolls used in rituals of the Hopi tribe. Hopi representatives considered the sale of the items sacrilegious and refused to take part in the auction. More... Discuss

This Day in History


The Nutcracker Premieres (1892)

Now a beloved Christmastime classic, The Nutcracker ballet premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, to fairly negative reviews. Even Tchaikovsky himself, the composer responsible for the score, found the ballet lacking. Despite its initial failure, the ballet about a girl who befriends a nutcracker that comes to life on Christmas Eve and battles the evil Mouse King has since become a holiday favorite. What helped turn things around for The Nutcracker? More... Discuss

Today's Birthday


Steven Spielberg (1946)

Spielberg is a three-time Academy Award-winning director and one of the most commercially successful filmmakers in the history of US cinema. He began his career directing for television, but his major success came when he began directing movies. His 1975 film, Jaws, became one of the highest-grossing movies ever and made him a household name. Spielberg later surpassed this record with the films E.T. and Jurassic Park. What 1993 movie earned him his first Academy Award? More... Discuss

Quotation of the Day

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) Discuss

English Language Forum


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Spelling Bee

Difficulty level:
n. a condition inferior to an earlier condition; a gradual falling off from a better state
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Today's Holiday


St. Modesto's Day (2014)

St. Modesto is the patron saint of farmers in Greece. His feast day is celebrated with various rituals in honor of farm animals. In Lemnos, kollyva (cooked wheat berries) and holy water are mixed with their fodder, while in Lesbos, the holy water is sprinkled on the fields to ward off locusts and disease. For horses and oxen, December 18 is a day of rest. The Eastern Orthodox Church reserves this day to commemorate St. Modestus, who was patriarch of Jerusalem from 631 to 634. He is known for a sermon he preached on the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. More... Discuss