Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, May 15, 2015)
Word of the Day

pariah

Definition:(noun) A social outcast.
Synonyms:castaway, leper, untouchable
Usage: The rumors of his traitorous actions were enough to make him a pariah among his peers, though nothing was ever proven.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Semi-Modal Auxiliary Verbs

Semi-modal auxiliary verbs, often simply called semi-modal verbs, are verbs that sometimes behave like modal auxiliary verbs. What four verbs are widely considered the standard set of semi-modal verbs? More...
Article of the Day

The Scripps National Spelling Bee

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a highly competitive annual spelling bee run on a non-profit basis by The E. W. Scripps Company, held at a hotel in the Washington, DC, area. The competition came into existence in 1925, and the first winning word was "gladiolus." The bee is open to the winners of sponsored regional spelling bees held mostly throughout the US, and participants must be in eighth grade or below, or 15 years old or younger. Why is it called a spelling "bee"? More...
This Day in History

The Great Gold Robbery (1855)

On the night of May 15, 1855, a shipment of gold bars and coins was sent from London to Paris, first via the South Eastern Railway and then on a ship across the English Channel. When the shipment arrived in Boulogne, France, the containers—all of which were locked and sealed—were found to be missing a large amount of the gold, worth about 12,000 British pounds at the time. The missing weight had been replaced with lead shot. A group of men was later arrested for the theft. How had they done it? More...
Today's Birthday

Williamina Paton Stevens Fleming (1857)

Shortly after Fleming emigrated from Scotland to the US with her husband, their marriage failed. Forced to support herself, she worked as a housekeeper for the director of the Harvard College Observatory, who soon hired her to do clerical work at the observatory. She quickly rose through the ranks and went on to make significant contributions to the field of astronomy—classifying thousands of stars and discovering numerous variable stars and novae. At what age did her formal education end? More...
Quotation of the Day
The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

intestinal fortitude

Strong courage, conviction, or determination; gumption; guts. More...
Today's Holiday

Race of the Ceri (2021)

The Race of the Ceri (Candles) held in Gubbio, Umbria, Italy, every May 15 is thought by some to have originated in pre-Christian times because its date coincides with the Ides of May in the pagan calendar, but the better-founded explanation is that it commemorates the city's patron, St. Ubaldo Baldassini. The candles for which the event is named are heavy, tower-like structures reinforced with iron bands. These are taken in procession to the Piazza dei Consoli; then, upon a signal, the bearers run with the candles up to the top of Mount Ingino, where they are offered to St. Ubaldo. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: plate

assiette - A prepared dish of food, French for "plate, course of a meal." More...

dish, plate - Dish is a more general term and plate is more specialized. More...

plate - Etymologically, something "flat," from Latin plattus, "flat," and Greek platys, "broad." More...

placard - Comes from French plaquier, "to plate; lay flat." More...

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