Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, August 3, 2015)
Word of the Day

harmonium

Definition:(noun) An organlike keyboard instrument that produces tones with free metal reeds actuated by air forced from a bellows.
Synonyms:reed organ
Usage: She had played the harmonium for years, but her arthritic fingers could no longer master the keys.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Irregular Superlative Adverbs

Just as there are irregular adverbs, there are irregular superlative adverbs. "Least" is an example of an irregular superlative adverb. What are some others? More...
Article of the Day

Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is the treatment and prevention of disease using practices that do not follow generally accepted medical methods and may not have a scientific explanation for their effectiveness; acupuncture, herbal medicine, meditation, biofeedback, massage, and chiropractic therapies are just a few examples. The scientifically oriented, modern medical establishment has typically been skeptical about, and often opposed to, these treatments. What is the appeal to nature fallacy? More...
This Day in History

US Senate Ratifies the Antiballistic Missile Treaty (1972)

The Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972 limited the number of defensive antiballistic missile systems allowed to the US and USSR. Effective ABM systems had been sought since the Cold War, when the nuclear arms race raised the specter of complete destruction by unstoppable ballistic missiles. In the West, the treaty was seen as a deterrent to nuclear war, since neither side would be able to fully protect against nuclear attack. Why then did the US withdraw from the treaty in 2002? More...
Today's Birthday

Leon Uris (1924)

Uris was an American novelist known for his many popular novels, especially the 1958 bestseller Exodus, a fictional account of Israel's early history that was eventually translated into dozens of languages. Meticulously researched, much of his fiction is set in historical periods of the 20th century. Uris also wrote screenplays, notably for the classic Western Gunfight at the OK Corral, and many of his novels were made into films. Who starred in the film version of Exodus? More...
Quotation of the Day
To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Idiom of the Day

cipher

A person who is unimportant, insignificant, or without influence. It refers to the mathematical symbol for zero (0). More...
Today's Holiday

Crop Over (2015)

This harvest festival in Barbados was originally celebrated in the 1800s by slaves at the end of the sugar-cane harvest. Today, Crop Over is a civic celebration which takes place during the last three weeks of July and usually ends on the first Monday in August. There are historical displays, craft shows, fairs, open-air concerts, calypso music and dancing, and "stick licking"—a self-defense sport similar to fencing. The first Monday of August is the finale, known as the Kadooment, which includes the judging of costumed bands at the National Stadium and a grand calypso procession. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: punctuation

em dash, en dash - The em dash is the long dash used in punctuation whose length is based on the width of the letter M; the en dash is shorter (the width of an N) and the hyphen is even shorter. More...

punctual - From Latin punctum, "point," it can mean "pertaining to punctuation," or "of or relating to a point in space." More...

square brackets, parentheses, braces - Square brackets were formerly called crotchets, round brackets are commonly called parentheses, and curly brackets are called braces; the punctuation called brackets derives from the bookshelf type, implying that, in writing, these marks "lift up" a section of a sentence. More...

stigmeology - The art of punctuation. More...

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