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Word of the Day

gyrate

Definition: (verb) Revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis.
Synonyms: spin, reel, whirl
Usage: The airplane gyrated about in the sky in a most alarming fashion.
Article of the Day

Rule of Thumb

Now used to refer to a convenient principle with a broad application not intended to be strictly accurate in every situation, the term "rule of thumb" first appeared in print in Sir William Hope's The Compleat Fencing-Master in 1692. The phrase is thought to have originated with woodworkers who used the length of their thumbs, rather than rulers, for measurements. However, it is often erroneously claimed that the term originally referred to a law that limited the thickness of what? More...
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining Intensifiers

Intensifiers, a subset of adverbs of degree, are adverbs or adverbials that modify adjectives and other adverbs to increase their strength, power, or intensity. What is the intensifier in the following sentence? "Everyone was really excited to go to the beach and go swimming in the ocean." More...
Idiom of the Day

not any hard feelings

No ill will; no resentment or anger. More...

This Day in History

Levi Strauss Patents Iconic Metal Rivet for Reinforcing Pants Pockets (1873)

If you are wearing blue jeans, chances are a version of tailor Jacob Davis's invention is hugging your hips right now. Davis did not invent jeans—that was the more famous Levi Strauss—but he did invent one crucial component: the copper rivets that reinforce the corners of the pockets, now ubiquitous on denim pants. Because Davis did not have the money to file the necessary patent paperwork, he wrote to Strauss—then Davis's fabric supplier—suggesting they apply together. How did Strauss respond? More...
Today's Birthday

Emile Berliner (1851)

After apprenticing as a printer in Germany, Berliner immigrated to the US and became interested in the new audio technologies of his day. He patented a series of improvements to Alexander Graham Bell's recently invented telephone before turning his attention to the phonograph. In 1888, he introduced the first flat disc recording, a marked improvement over Thomas Edison's recording cylinders for the phonograph and a precursor of the modern record. What were some of Berliner's other inventions? More...
Today's Holiday

Shavuot (2018)

Shavuot ("weeks") is the second of the three Pilgrim Festivals. At one time, all adult male Jews were expected to bring their first omer, or "sheaf," of barley to the Temple in Jerusalem as a thanksgiving offering. Today dairy dishes are associated with Shavuot, particularly cheese blintzes. After the period of Jewish slavery in Egypt, Shavuot celebrated Moses' return from the top of Mt. Sinai with the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, and it is therefore also known as the Festival of the Giving of the Law. Jews living in Israel observe only the first day of Shavuot. More...
Quote of the Day
The truth is, we each of us have an inborn conviction that the whole world, with everybody and everything in it, was created as a sort of necessary appendage to ourselves. Our fellow men and women were made to admire us and to minister to our various requirements.
Jerome K. Jerome
(1859-1927)
Grammar Quiz
Word Trivia

Today's topic: removal

beheadment - The removal of an initial letter of a word to form a new word (e.g. blather becomes lather). More...

curtailment - The removal of the last letter of a word to leave another word (e.g. goon becomes goo). More...

detail - Comes from French de-, "removal," and tailler, "cut in pieces," and means "to relate or describe minutely." More...

water softening - The removal of calcium and magnesium ions from water, or their replacement with sodium, either by chemical reaction or by ion exchange. More...

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