Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, May 25, 2016)
Word of the Day

escarp

Definition:(noun) A steep artificial slope in front of a fortification.
Synonyms:protective embankment
Usage: Instead of trying to breach the escarp, the army encircled the fortress, planning to starve out the inhabitants above.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining Voice

Voice is a grammatical feature that describes the relationship between the verb and the subject in a sentence. There are two main types of voice: active voice and passive voice. There is also a third type of voice that is less commonly used. What is it called? More...
Article of the Day

Weasel Words

"Weasel words" are words that are intended to, or have the effect of, softening the force of a potentially loaded or controversial statement. The term was coined by Stewart Chaplin in a 1900 short story and invokes the image of a sneaky weasel wriggling its way out of tight spaces in the same way that these words subtly redirect attention. One example of weasel words is the phrase "headcount reduction," which is used in the corporate world as a euphemism for what distasteful course of action? More...
This Day in History

"Spider Dan" Scales 110-Story Sears Tower (1981)

After witnessing a deadly high-rise hotel fire, Dan Goodwin resolved to call attention to the need for better skyscraper firefighting and rescue techniques. Six months after the blaze, he donned a homemade Spider-Man suit and, using suction cups and climbing gear, began an ascent of Chicago's Sears Tower—then the world's tallest building. He reached the top seven hours later and was promptly arrested. What structure—formerly the world's tallest—did he climb with no equipment, twice in one day? More...
Today's Birthday

Igor Sikorsky (1889)

After studying engineering in Kiev, Sikorsky devoted himself to developing the helicopter. In 1910, after failing to build a workable model, he turned to fixed-wing airplane design, and, several years later, he built and flew the first multi-motored plane, a four-engine aircraft with an innovative enclosed cabin. Sikorsky immigrated to the US in 1919 and had continued success designing airplanes. How long would it be before he finally realized his dream of building his first working helicopter? More...
Quotation of the Day
The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

Idiom of the Day

be given no quarter

To be offered no mercy, concession, or indulgence. More...
Today's Holiday

Fête des Stes. Maries de la Mer (2018)

According to a French legend, St. Sarah, patron saint of gypsies, was the Egyptian handmaid of Sts. Mary Jacoby and Mary Salome, and all three supposedly died in the small Provençal village of Les Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer, where their remains are said to be preserved. During the Festival of the Holy Maries, there is a procession down to the sea for the blessing of the painted wooden vessel known as the "Bark of the Saints," which is believed to contain some of the bones of the saints. Thousands of devout pilgrims make the journey to Les Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer each year. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: net

dream catcher - A decorative Native American object in the form of a hoop and net with attachments such as feathers. More...

net - As in "without deductions," it came from French net, "neat," and then evolved to mean" free from any (further) deduction." More...

reticule - An older term for a small handbag, it alludes to the fact that they were originally made of netted fabric—Latin rete, "net," became reticulum, "netted bag." More...

retina - From Latin rete, "net," as there is a net of nerves making up this layer of the eyeball. More...

In the News

Can ADHD Appear for the First Time in Adulthood?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), usually diagnosed in children, may show up for the first time in adulthood, two recent studies suggest. And not only can ADHD appear for the first time after childhood, but the symptoms for adult-onset ... More...
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