Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, November 6, 2017)
Word of the Day

odoriferous

Definition:(adjective) Having a natural fragrance.
Synonyms:sweet-smelling, perfumed, scented, odorous, sweet
Usage: There were large bottles filled with serpents, ticketed according to their species; dried lizards shone like emeralds set in great squares of black wood, and bunches of wild odoriferous herbs.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Adverbs of Indefinite Frequency

The frequency adverbs that are used most often are adverbs of indefinite frequency. As the name suggests, these are adverbs that give a sense of frequency but do not specify exactly how often something happens or is the case. "Usually" is an example of an adverb of indefinite frequency. What are some others? More...
Article of the Day

Mayday, Mayday!

"Mayday" is a code word used internationally as a radio distress signal for a life-threatening emergency. It is derived from the French phrase venez m'aider, meaning "come help me." "Mayday" should be repeated three times, followed by the vessel's call sign, also repeated three times. "Mayday" and the call sign should then be stated again, followed by details about the emergency and position of the craft. What code word can be used for situations that are urgent but not life-threatening? More...
This Day in History

The Green March Begins (1975)

Extremely arid and almost entirely sand and gravel, the sparsely populated territory of Western Sahara was a protectorate of Spain until the 1970s. Despite internal calls for independence, the king of neighboring Morocco led a march of more than 300,000 unarmed Moroccans into the territory as a show of support for annexation. Known as the Green March, the mass demonstration led to Spanish withdrawal, but control of the region is still contested. What other group claims the territory? More...
Today's Birthday

Joanna the Mad (1479)

Joanna was the first queen regnant of both Castile and Aragon, which would become modern Spain. Though Joanna likely suffered from depression, the extent of her mental illness may have been exaggerated for political reasons. Throughout much of Joanna's reign, her father, husband, and son vied for power, each ruling on her behalf by attesting to her insanity. Joanna remained confined for much of her life. How old was she when she died? More...
Quotation of the Day
The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Idiom of the Day

a little leery

Cautious, wary, or uncertain of a given person, place, or thing. More...
Today's Holiday

Gustavus Adolphus Day (2017)

Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632) was the king of Sweden (1611-32) who laid the foundations of the modern Swedish state and turned the country into a major European power. He was killed during the Thirty Years' War while leading a cavalry charge at the Battle of Lützen on November 6, 1632. The anniversary of his death is observed throughout Sweden with patriotic demonstrations—particularly in Skansen, Stockholm's outdoor museum. Enormous bonfires are built on Reindeer Mountain and processions of students carry lighted torches through the museum grounds. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: sailing

aloof - Comes from sailing, in which ships keep clear of coastal rocks by holding the vessel "luff"—"to the windward"; so, to hold "a-luff" means to "keep clear." More...

jibe - Meaning "be compatible, consistent," it may come from the earlier jibe, "to shift a sail from side to side while sailing in the wind." More...

plain sailing - Probably comes from plane sailing, a way of determining a ship's position based on its moving on a plane (flat surface). More...

aback - Originated in sailing, as a ship was taken aback when a strong gust of wind suddenly blew the sails back against the mast, causing the ship to stop momentarily. More...

In the News

Kepler data reveals existence of 20 promising exoplanets 'hiding in plain sight'

A large international team of researchers working with data sent back from NASA's Kepler space telescope has found evidence of 20 previously unknown, promising exoplanets. In their paper uploaded to the arXiv preprint server, the team describes the exoplanets ... More...
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