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Word of the Day



Definition: (noun) A gathering, flowing, or meeting together at one juncture or point.
Usage:He had long noted that the greatest disasters were rarely the result of one misfortune but were the result of a confluence of several of them. Discuss.

Article of the Day


Thomas Malthus

Malthus was an English economist, sociologist, and demographer. He is best known for his 1798 pamphlet An Essay on the Principle of Population, in which he theorizes that poverty is an unavoidable consequence of population growth. He explained that populations grow at a geometric rate, while the means of subsistence expands arithmetically; thus, war, famine, and disease are necessary checks on population. In later editions, what did Mathus add as a fourth check on population? More... Discuss

This Day in History


First Run of the Orient Express (1883)

Synonymous with intrigue and luxury, the legendary Orient Express was a passenger train that ran from Paris to Istanbul for more than 80 years. Europe's first transcontinental express train, it covered over 1,700 miles (2,740 km), and its lavishly furnished cars became the symbol of glamour for Europeans. It was discontinued in 1977 and revived in 1982 to run between London and Venice as the "Venice Simplon Orient Express." An alluring backdrop for writers, the train line appears in what novels? More... Discuss

Today's Birthday


Damon Runyon (1884)

Runyon was an American short story writer and journalist. He served in the Spanish-American War as a teenager and moved to New York in 1911, where he began to write humorous stories about the city's hoodlums, racketeers, bookies, and other underworld characters. The stories are written in a picturesque, slangy journalistic idiom often referred to as "Runyonese" or "Runyonesque." What famous musical is based on a collection of his stories about a racy section of Broadway? More... Discuss

Quotation of the Day

For whatever is truly wondrous and fearful in man, never yet was put into words or books.

Herman Melville (1819-1891) Discuss


English Language Forum

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n. the temporal property of two things happening at the same time
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Today's Holiday


Lesotho Independence Day

Formerly Basutoland, the Kingdom of Lesotho was formally granted its independence from Great Britain on this day in 1966. It had been a British colony since the 1860s. Before the flag-changing ceremonies at midnight to symbolize Lesotho's new autonomy, a colorful procession took place as King Moshoeshoe II (b. 1938) paraded in full regalia leading 100 chiefs into the capital city of Maseru. More... Discuss