Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, January 1, 2015)
Word of the Day

squalor

Definition:(noun) A filthy and wretched condition or quality.
Synonyms:sordidness, squalidness
Usage: The squalor in which the refugees lived alarmed the aid workers, who knew they had to work quickly to improve these conditions.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Present Continuous Tense (Progressive)

We create the present continuous tense by using the present participle (-ing form) of the verb after the present-tense form of the auxiliary verb "be." What is the most common occurrence of the present continuous tense? More...
Article of the Day

Ticker-Tape Parades

Ticker-tape parades were originated in New York City by Grover Whalen, the city's official greeter from 1919 to 1953. The welcome ceremonies he staged for Charles Lindbergh and returning soldiers from both world wars, among others, featured a festive snow of confetti—originally ticker-tape from stockbrokers' offices in lower Manhattan—thrown onto the parade from the tall buildings along the route. Today the parades most often fete sports champions. What is the "Canyon of Heroes"? More...
This Day in History

Times Square Ball Drops for the First Time (1908)

In 1904, The New York Times moved its headquarters to what is now known as Times Square. That December, it held a New Year's Eve celebration that proved to be quite popular. A few years later, the newspaper created an illuminated time ball—then a well-known dockside device by which sailors set their ships' clocks—that would fall at midnight. The annual ball-drop outlived both the newspaper's address on the square and the use of time balls in general. What was Times Square's original name? More...
Today's Birthday

Jerome David "J. D." Salinger (1919)

Salinger published his first and only novel, The Catcher in the Rye, in 1951. An immediate success, it generated a cult-like dedication among readers. Though he also released a handful of short story collections, Salinger ceased publishing after 1963 and spent the rest of his life as a recluse in Cornish, New Hampshire. After his death in 2010, rumors swirled that he had left behind a number of finished works. According to one of Salinger's neighbors, how many novels did he complete? More...
Quotation of the Day
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.

Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

Idiom of the Day

a living legend

A person who has an extraordinary reputation or level of fame while he or she is still alive. More...
Today's Holiday

Cuba Liberation Day (2018)

This national public holiday commemorates the overthrow of the military government of Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973) led by Fidel Castro (b. 1926) that succeeded on January 1, 1959. July 26 is National Day, another public holiday marking the beginning of the revolution Castro led in 1953. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: torture

ordeal - From Old English ordel, "judgment," figuratively, an experience testing endurance, patience, courage, etc.—also a test of guilt or innocence that was one of severe pain or torture. More...

torment - Comes from a Latin word, tormentum, for an instrument of torture. More...

tortuous, torturous - Tortuous is "winding, crooked, full of twists and turns," and torturous, based on "torture," is "painful, characterized by suffering." More...

travel - From Latin trepaliare, "torture," it evolved into "journey" from the allusion to the inevitable trouble of medieval travel. More...

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