Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, December 30, 2018)
Word of the Day

parlous

Definition:(adjective) Fraught with danger.
Synonyms:perilous, touch-and-go, precarious
Usage: Our economy is in a parlous state and has been for some time.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining the Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past. How do we form the past perfect tense? More...
Article of the Day

Fasting Girls

In the Victorian era, "fasting girls" were young females, usually preadolescent, who were purportedly capable of surviving for long periods without consuming any food. In many accounts, the fasting girls not only refused nourishment but also drew attention to their fasts by claiming to have special religious or magical powers. Their ability to survive was often attributed to saints or thought of as miraculous. What special abilities did Mollie Fancher, the "Brooklyn Enigma," claim to have? More...
This Day in History

The Iroquois Theater Fire (1903)

Billed as "absolutely fireproof," Chicago's Iroquois Theater was filled with mostly women and children—out of school for the holidays—for a matinée on December 30, 1903, when a curtain caught fire. One actor tried calming the audience, but panic spread. Many escape routes were unmarked, and a stampede ensued. As people fled, the cold air they let in fed the inferno. More than 575 people died—a death toll more than double that of the famed 1871 Chicago Fire. What show had packed the theater? More...
Today's Birthday

Titus (39 CE)

The son of Roman emperor Vespasian, Titus gained renown as a military commander and was given command of the Praetorian Guard after repressing the Jewish rebellion in Judea. Upon succeeding his father in 79 CE, he pursued a policy of conciliation and sought popular favor. A benevolent ruler, he halted prosecutions for treason and spent lavishly on subjects, a practice that earned him goodwill in Rome but caused his successor financial trouble. What two disasters struck during his reign? More...
Quotation of the Day
There's no jealousy in the grave.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Idiom of the Day

things that go bump in the night

Frightful, deadly, and usually supernatural things or events that one imagines in the dark of night. More...
Today's Holiday

Rizal Day (2018)

A national holiday in the Philippines, Rizal Day commemorates the execution of the national hero Dr. José Rizal on this day in 1896. Flags fly at half-staff throughout the country, and special rites are led by the president at the 500-foot Rizal Monument in Manila. Writing from Europe and denouncing the corrupt ruling of the Philippines by Spanish friars, Rizal became known as a leader of the Philippine reform movement. He had no direct role in the nationalist insurrection; nevertheless, he was arrested, tried for sedition, and executed by a firing squad. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: steer

coxswain - Originally a servant (swain) whose job it was to steer a boat (cock or cockboat). More...

govern - From Greek kubernan, "to steer." More...

con - To con a ship is to steer it; to con is also "to learn by heart or study attentively." More...

helm - A nautical term meaning "to steer." More...

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