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Word of the Day



Definition: (noun) The quality or state of being diffident; timidity or shyness.
Synonyms:self-distrust, self-doubt
Usage:The youth sat down as directed, but reluctantly and with diffidence. Discuss.

Article of the Day


Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

L. Frank Baum was an American journalist, playwright, and author. In 1900, he published his most famous work, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a story about a girl named Dorothy who is carried by a tornado to the magical land of Oz. Baum's fame rests largely on his 14 stories of Oz, all of which emphasize the virtues of practicality, self-reliance, tolerance, and egalitarianism. In 1938, the story was made into an extraordinarily popular motion picture. Who played the role of Dorothy? More... Discuss

This Day in History


First Continental Congress Assembles in Philadelphia (1774)

Indignation against England's colonial policy reached fever pitch in the British North American colonies after the passage of the so-called Intolerable Acts. The First Continental Congress, made up of delegates from every colony except Georgia, was convened in Philadelphia to address grievances against British policy. At that time, only a few radical members considered the possibility of breaking with England. What course of action did the delegates elect to pursue instead? More... Discuss

Today's Birthday


Werner Herzog (1942)

One of the leading filmmakers in contemporary German cinema, Herzog is a prolific director, screenwriter, and producer known for his vivid and poetic films. During the 1960s, he mostly made short films but completed his first feature, Signs of Life, in 1968. He went on to make a number of films noted for their acutely observed detail and tales of danger and escape. More recently, he has made several acclaimed documentaries. What criminal act started Herzog on his filmmaking career? More... Discuss

Quotation of the Day

After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) Discuss


English Language Forum

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Spelling Bee

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n. The beginning portion of the small intestine, starting at the lower end of the stomach and extending to the jejunum
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Today's Holiday


Watermelon-Eating and Seed-Spitting Contest

The only event of its kind sanctioned by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Watermelon-Eating and Seed-Spitting Contest in Pardeeville, Wisconsin, is attended by up to 9,000 people. Rules for the spitting contest are strictly enforced: professional tobacco spitters are not eligible; denture wearers must abide by the judge's decision if their teeth go further than the seed; and no one is allowed to propel their seeds through a pipe or tube. The festival also includes a watermelon volleyball competition, carving contests, and a parade. More... Discuss