Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, March 19, 2015)
Word of the Day

parlance

Definition:(noun) A particular manner of speaking.
Synonyms:idiom
Usage: In vulgar parlance the condiments of a repast are called by the American "a relish," substituting the thing for its effect.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining Adverbial Nouns

Adverbial nouns are nouns or noun phrases that function grammatically as adverbs to modify verbs and certain adjectives. Why are they sometimes referred to as "adverbial objectives"? More...
Article of the Day

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa is an academic honor society with the mission of "fostering and recognizing excellence" in undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. Founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, it is the oldest such society in the US and today boasts 283 chapters and over half a million living members. Its symbol is a golden key engraved with the image of a pointing finger, the Greek letters from which the society takes its name, and three stars. What principles do these stars represent? More...
This Day in History

René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, Murdered by His Own Men (1687)

La Salle was a celebrated French explorer of North America. He began exploring the Great Lakes in 1679, setting up forts in the region and organizing a federation of native American tribes to fight the Iroquois. Given power to colonize the region between Lake Michigan and the Gulf of Mexico, he set sail in 1684 for the mouth of the Mississippi River, which he was ultimately unable to locate. Beset by losses of men and ships, La Salle was killed by mutineers after having mistakenly landed where? More...
Today's Birthday

Sir Richard Frances Burton (1821)

Burton lived a life of adventure and scandal as an explorer, translator, fencer, ethnologist, poet, and spy. He spoke at least 25 languages and put these skills to use translating works like the Arabian Nights and Kama Sutra into English. His linguistic skills also helped him pass himself off as a Muslim so that he could visit the forbidden holy cities of Mecca and Medina. After he died, his wife burned 40 years' worth of his diaries. What caused the distinctive scars on his face? More...
Quotation of the Day
The pen is the tongue of the mind.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

Idiom of the Day

let down (one's) guard

To become less guarded or vigilant; to stop being cautious about potential trouble or danger. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Joseph's Day (2021)

In Valencia, Spain, the feast of the foster-father of Jesus is a week-long festival called Fallas de San Jose (Bonfires of St. Joseph). On St. Joseph's Eve, March 18, fallas (huge floats of intricate scenes made of wood and papier-mâché, satirizing everything from the high cost of living to political personalities) parade through the streets. At midnight on March 19, the celebration ends with the spectacular ceremony known as the crema, when all the fallas are set on fire. The festival is said to reflect the happy and satirical nature of the Valencians. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: jest

joke - Latin jocus, "jest, joke," gave us joke. More...

ludicrous - Early senses of ludicrous, from the adjective ludic, were "sportive," "intended as jest" and "spontaneously playful." More...

juggle, juggler - Juggle is from Latin joculus, a diminutive of jocus, and a juggler was originally a jester. More...

jocose - From Latin jocus, it means "full of jokes." More...

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