Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, December 2, 2019)
Word of the Day

censer

Definition:(noun) A container for burning incense (especially one that is swung on a chain in a religious ritual).
Synonyms:thurible
Usage: The organ was muttering, censers were swinging, candles were glinting on the distant altar, and robed priests were filing silently past them.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Plural Possession with Apostrophes

If there is more than one person, place, or thing that possesses something else, then the rules for showing possession change slightly. Because an "-s" is usually added to a word to make it plural, the "-s" that follows the apostrophe is dropped. What marks possession in this case? More...
Article of the Day

The Achaemenid Empire

At its height, the Achaemenid Empire reached from Macedonia to northern India and from the Caucasus Mountains to the Persian Gulf. It derives its name from Achaemenes, who is thought to have lived in the early 7th century BCE. Its greatest rulers were Cyrus II, who established the Persian Empire and from whose reign it is dated; Darius I, who secured the borders from external threats; and Xerxes I, who completed many of Darius's public works. What event brought an end to the empire? More...
This Day in History

First Self-Sustaining Nuclear Chain Reaction Is Demonstrated (1942)

Constructed under an abandoned stand of bleachers at the University of Chicago, the world's first artificial nuclear reactor was little more than a pile of uranium and graphite bricks. It was built as part of the Manhattan Project under the supervision of renowned physicist Enrico Fermi. The first successful demonstration lasted 28 minutes and was a milestone in the history of physics. What code phrase did scientists use to convey the reactor's success to government officials? More...
Today's Birthday

Maria Callas (1923)

An internationally known Greek-American opera star, Callas was celebrated less for her voice than for her electrifying stage presence and mastery of difficult roles. Her career blossomed in the 1940s. Offstage, her fiery temperament, dramatic love life, and demanding personality earned her the reputation of a consummate diva. During her media-fueled rivalry with soprano Renata Tebaldi in the 1950s, Callas was quoted as saying that comparing her to Tebaldi was like comparing what two things? More...
Quotation of the Day
When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world; and there certainly would be less of both if the sublimity of Nature were more attended to, and people were carried more out of themselves by contemplating such a scene.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

in a flutter

In a nervous, confused, or agitated state. More...
Today's Holiday

United Arab Emirates National Day (2020)

This national holiday commemorates the December 2, 1971, expiration of a British treaty that inhibited self-rule for the sheikhdoms on the Persian Gulf in the eastern Arabian peninsula, and the union of seven of the sheikhdoms in the former Trucial States to become the United Arab Emirates. The Emirates' major cities celebrate National Day December 2-3. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: country

emancipate - Means "to free from legal, political, social control or restraint by others," and "to free from bondage." The word's Latin elements are manus, "hand," and capere, "to take," and first meant "to release or set free." More...

assassin - Thought by some to derive from an Arabic word meaning "hashish user," as members of an Islamic sect in various countries during the time of the Crusades (13th century) ate hashish to intoxicate themselves before setting out to assasinate enemy leaders. More...

patriot - Greek pater, "father," led to Latin patriota, "fellow countryman," which was the original meaning of patriot when it came into English in the late 1500s. More...

country, nation - Both came into English c. 1330 and tend to be used interchangeably.  Country comes from Latin contrata (terra), "the landscape in front of one, the landscape lying opposite to the view." Nation is from Latin nation-/natio, "race, class of person." More...

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