Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, September 2, 2017)
Word of the Day

overabundance

Definition:(noun) A going or being beyond what is needed, desired, or appropriate.
Synonyms:overmuch, overmuchness, superabundance
Usage: Four-year-olds have an overabundance of energy and quickly exhaust even the most active, fit adults.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

The past perfect continuous tense is used to describe an action that began and was still in progress in the past before another past action started. How does it differ from the past perfect tense? More...
Article of the Day

Smeed's Law

First proposed in 1949, Smeed's Law is an empirical rule relating traffic fatalities to motor vehicle registration and country population. According to this law, annually increasing traffic volume ironically leads to a decrease in accidents per vehicle. Though the law was revisited in the 1980s and 90s with data from more than 60 countries supporting its validity, it has been disputed by several scholars. What supposed truth about human psychology did Smeed say the law reveals? More...
This Day in History

Paddy Roy Bates Founds His Own Nation (1967)

The Principality of Sealand is a purported micronation located on Roughs Tower, a World War II-era British sea fort located in the North Sea six miles (10 km) off the coast of Suffolk, England. Since 1966, the installation has been occupied by the associates and family of Paddy Roy Bates, a former British Army major and pirate radio broadcaster who claimed it as a sovereign and independent state in 1967. What is the international community's position on the fort's status as a sovereign nation? More...
Today's Birthday

Christa McAuliffe (1948)

McAuliffe, a high school history teacher, was among the seven crew members killed when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded soon after its launch in 1986. She had been selected to be the first civilian in space from a field of more than 11,000 applicants to NASA's Teacher in Space program, and she was slated to teach two lessons during the flight. In 2004, she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. What happened to the teacher chosen as McAuliffe's backup? More...
Quotation of the Day
My last page is always latent in my first; but the intervening windings of the way become clear only as I write.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

Idiom of the Day

make (something) up as (one) goes (along)

To improvise continuously as one does something; to do something without formal guidelines, structure, rules, etc. More...
Today's Holiday

Vietnam National Day (2021)

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam observes its declaration of independence from France as a national holiday. On this day in 1945, Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) proclaimed the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. To celebrate Vietnam's national holiday, people gather in major cities, including Hanoi, for speeches, parades, fireworks, and other festivities. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: troops

squadron - Borrowed from Italian squadrone, from Latin quadrare, "square"; the sense of "military group" comes from an earlier "square formation of troops." More...

campaign - First meant an open tract of land, from Latin campus, "level ground," and the change to a military meaning came from troops "taking the field"—moving from fortress or town to open country—from which the political sense evolved, referring to the organized efforts of office-seekers to sway public opinion or influence their vote at an upcoming election. More...

echelon - Comes from French echelle, "ladder," from Latin scala, and first meant a formation of troops. More...

corporal - Its military meaning came from "the head of a body of troops," from French caporale. More...

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