Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, May 21, 2018)
Word of the Day

hanker

Definition:(verb) Desire strongly or persistently.
Synonyms:long, yearn
Usage: There, my lady cousin; there stands the most undutiful child in the world; she hankers after a beggarly rascal, and won't marry one of the greatest matches in all England.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Modal Auxiliary Verbs - Could

The modal verb "could" is most often used as a past-tense version of "can," indicating what someone or something was able to do in the past. "Could" can be used in what types of conditional sentences? More...
Article of the Day

Samuel Hopkins

Hopkins was an American inventor who was granted the first US patent in 1790—just months after President George Washington signed the new patent statute into law—for an improved process for making potash and pearl ash, substances used in the manufacture of glass, soap, and fertilizer. There was no Patent Office at the time, so his petition was approved by a committee that included the US president, secretary of state, and attorney general. What other US patents were issued that year? More...
This Day in History

Island of Saint Helena Discovered (1502)

The uninhabited island of St. Helena was discovered by Portuguese navigator João da Nova in the eastern South Atlantic, 1,200 mi (1,931 km) west of Africa. It became a port of call for ships sailing between Europe and the East Indies and was annexed by the British East India Company in 1659. Because of the island's remoteness, when the British exiled Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815, he was sent there. It became a British crown colony in 1834, but its importance declined after what was opened in 1869? More...
Today's Birthday

Elizabeth Fry (1780)

Fry was an English prison reformer as well as an advocate of higher nursing standards and the education of working women. From 1813, she worked untiringly to improve the conditions for women in Newgate prison, advocating separation of the sexes, employment, and religious training. Her successful methods at Newgate impressed the government and were tried in other prisons. She also helped the homeless, founding soup kitchens and shelters in London. On what unit of currency is Fry pictured? More...
Quotation of the Day
One can sometimes do good by being the right person in the wrong place.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

Idiom of the Day

a bit beyond (one's) ken

Advanced beyond one's ability to understand or make sense of the subject matter or task at hand. More...
Today's Holiday

Anastenaria (2018)

Anastenaria is a firewalking ceremony in Greece, in the communes of Agia Eleni near Serres and of Langada near Thessalonike. Men and women, some holding red kerchiefs and some carrying icons of St. Constantine and St. Helen—in whose honor the ceremonies are held—dance barefooted on red-hot coals while folk musicians play. The custom is supposed to have originated in an ancient form of worship that was brought by travelers from Kosti in Eastern Thrace and adapted to Christian beliefs. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: songs

episode - First a Greek dialogue between two songs, it is from eis, "into," and hodos, "way." More...

lyric poetry - Characterized by an expression of the poet's personal feelings—and originally descriptive of songs accompanied by the lyre (examples are John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley). More...

melodrama - Meaning "song play," it has a Greek origin—from melos, "music, song"—and it started out as a sensational play interspersed with songs. More...

vaudeville - Comes from a French composer calling his songs "chanson du Vau de vire"—"song of the valley of Vire (in Normandy)"—later shortened to "vau de ville." More...

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