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Word of the Day

poltroon

Definition: (noun) An abject coward.
Synonyms: craven, recreant
Usage: What a miserable little poltroon had fear, engendered of unjust punishment, made of me in those days.
Article of the Day

False Friends

False friends are words that look or sound the same in different languages but have different meanings. Unlike false cognates, which are completely unrelated, false friends may have a shared origin. For example, gift has a far more sinister German meaning—poison—than it does in English, though both languages derive the word from the same Germanic root. How might a new Spanish speaker worsen her situation by mistakenly using the word embarazada to indicate that she is embarrassed? More...
Daily Grammar Lesson

Creating Compound Adjectives

A compound adjective is created by two or more words that work jointly to modify the same noun. What parts of speech can be combined to make a compound adjective? More...
Idiom of the Day

when pigs can fly

At a time that will never come to pass. (Used to show skepticism or cynicism over someone's hypothetical remark.) More...

This Day in History

The Thrilla in Manila (1975)

Frequently rated among the greatest boxing matches of all time, the Thrilla in Manila saw world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali meet rival Joe Frazier for the third—and final—time. Leading up to the match, Ali had publicly taunted Frazier, calling him a "gorilla." Because many believed Frazier to be past his prime, Ali—though older—was expected to win. However, the fight went on for 14 brutal rounds in the sweltering Manila heat, and neither man was able to knock out the other. Who won? More...
Today's Birthday

Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz (1903)

A Russian-American virtuoso pianist, Horowitz made his debut in Russia at 17. Within years, he was touring internationally, with much success. He eventually settled in the US, where his extraordinary technical virtuosity made him one of the most popular pianists of his time. Always susceptible to nervous strain, in 1953 he decided to quit performing publicly. He returned to the stage in 1965 and occasionally thereafter until his death. Why did Horowitz's father lie about his son's birthday? More...
Today's Holiday

Mid-Autumn Festival (Singapore) (2020)

The Mid-Autumn Festival, sometimes known as the Mooncake Festival, is observed by Chinese communities around the world. The cakes are often sold along with lanterns and are filled with either a sweet bean paste or with melon and lotus seeds, and may be flavored with orange peels, egg yolks, or other spices. On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, children all over Singapore have parades so they can show off their lighted lanterns. There are also lantern-making contests, Chinese costume-making competitions, lion and dragon dances, and concerts. More...
Quote of the Day
When people ask for time, it's always for time to say no. Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn't take half as long to say.
Edith Wharton
(1862-1937)
Grammar Quiz
Word Trivia

Today's topic: pillar

gnomon, gnomonics - A gnomon is the pillar or rod that casts a shadow on a sundial; gnomonics is the art or science of dialing or of constructing dials to show the hour of the day by the shadow of a gnomon. More...

pilaster - First referred to a square or rectangular column or pillar. More...

pillar - From Latin pila, "pillar," the source of compile, pilaster, and pile. More...

column - Its underlying notion is of "height, command, extremity," and it comes from Latin columna, "pillar," which probably came from columen/culmen, "top, summit." More...

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