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Word of the Day

flagellation

Definition: (noun) Beating with a whip or strap or rope as a form of punishment.
Synonyms: flogging, lashing, tanning
Usage: The poor servant boy bore the scars of flagellation, which was his master's preferred punishment for nearly any infraction.
Article of the Day

Count Alessandro di Cagliostro

Born Giuseppe Balsamo, Cagliostro was an 18th-century charlatan and adventurer. He roamed Europe posing as a physician, alchemist, mesmerist, necromancer, and Freemason and claimed to know the secrets of the philosopher's stone and other potions. Once well-regarded in the court of King Louis XVI, he was banished following a scandal and returned to his native Italy. There, the Inquisition charged him with heresy and sorcery and imprisoned him for life. What had led to his banishment from France? More...
Daily Grammar Lesson

Negative Questions with Question Words

We can use the negative with interrogative sentences that are formed with certain question words ("who," "what," "where," and "why"). To make these sentences negative, where do we add "not"? More...
Idiom of the Day

hard on the eyes

Unattractive; ugly. More...

This Day in History

George Bizet's Carmen Premieres in Paris (1875)

Though it is today one of the most popular operas ever written, Carmen was initially met with such scathing reviews that the opera house had to give away tickets to get people to see it. Shortly after its disastrous premiere, its author, Bizet, died of a heart attack and the director of the struggling opera house resigned. Later that year, however, Carmen opened in Vienna to wide acclaim. Why did critics initially hate Bizet's story of a soldier's doomed love for a wild Gypsy girl? More...
Today's Birthday

George Mortimer Pullman (1831)

Pullman was a successful American industrialist and the inventor of the railroad sleeping car. In 1893, he built a company town for his workers in Illinois, and it was showcased in the World's Fair as a grand social experiment. The next year, the town of Pullman was the scene of a violent workers' strike that nearly halted US rail traffic. When Pullman died in 1897, he had to be buried in a massive steel-and-concrete vault to keep activists from disinterring his body. What happened to his town? More...
Today's Holiday

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (2020)

The nation's largest livestock show, with more than 35,000 entries, is held in the famous Astrodome of Houston, Texas. The show is a reminder of the 19th-century days when Houston's shipping trade was based on timber, cotton, and cattle. Things get under way with a downtown parade, and the agenda then includes celebrity entertainers, pig races, and a chili cookoff. More...
Quote of the Day
How gladly would I meet
Mortality my sentence, and be earth
Insensible! how glad would lay me down
As in my mother's lap!
John Milton
(1608-1674)
Grammar Quiz
Word Trivia

Today's topic: shot

shot - Referring to a fluid dram of liquor, the term is fairly new, dating to 1928 (PG Wodehouse). More...

deadline - Originally a Civil War term for a line that marked the distance a prisoner could go before being shot on sight. More...

schuss - A straight downhill ski run, it is literally German for "a shot." More...

beside the point - The expression is from ancient archery, and literally means one's shot is wide of the target. More...

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