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Word of the Day

waft

Definition: (verb) To carry or be carried gently on or as if on the air or water.
Synonyms: drift, float, blow
Usage: The scent of her perfume wafted through the room.
Article of the Day

The Nomenklatura

In the Soviet Union and other Communist countries, the nomenklatura was an elite group of Communist Party members in key administrative government positions. It arose during Vladimir Lenin's tenure early in the 20th century. Certain officials—"patrons"—had the authority to appoint individuals—called "clients"—to certain positions. The client was thus beholden to his patron for employment, which helped to maintain the power structure. What was Joseph Stalin's nickname within the nomenklatura? More...
Daily Grammar Lesson

Negative Imperatives

When we make an imperative sentence, we use the infinitive form of the verb (without "to"), and we omit the subject of the verb. What can we put before the infinitive verb to make an imperative statement negative? More...
Idiom of the Day

on in years

Advanced in age; old or becoming old. More...

This Day in History

Elias Howe Patents a Precursor to the Zipper (1851)

Five years after being granted a patent for the first practical sewing machine, Howe patented his design for a zipper-like garment fastener. However, he never put much effort into marketing this invention, perhaps due to the great success of his sewing machine, and today, credit for the zipper's development is largely given to Whitcomb Judson, who demonstrated his innovative slide-fastener design 42 years later at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. How did the zipper get its name? More...
Today's Birthday

Carry Nation (1846)

Nation was an American temperance advocate with an unorthodox style of destroying saloons with a hatchet while supporters sang hymns. Her passion was likely fueled by her first husband's alcoholism. Though she was successful in focusing public attention on the cause of prohibition, most temperance organizations were hesitant to support her. At 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, Nation was hard to contain and was arrested 30 times before declining health forced her retirement. How did she pay her fines? More...
Today's Holiday

Manger Yam (2021)

Manger Yam is a harvest celebration of the yam crop observed in Haiti. It is considered taboo to eat any of the new yams before the festival for fear of falling ill or bringing ruin to the yam crop. In Vodoun belief, it is very important for people to maintain relationships with the dead, as well as with each other and the gods, so the deceased are included in the Manger Yam. In the Vodoun service, the priest or priestess leads prayers to the dead and to the gods and offers the first yams to them. After the ceremony, people feast on yam dishes and enjoy music and dancing. More...
Quote of the Day
There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.
Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)
Grammar Quiz
Word Trivia

Today's topic: witch

troll - Originally a witch or sorceress. More...

fly-by-night - Said to be an old term of reproach to a woman signifying that she was a witch, and was extended to "anyone who departs hastily from a recent activity," especially while owing money. More...

hag - First meant "witch." More...

witch - In Old English, it was actually wicca and originally (c. 890) was a man who practiced magic or sorcery, who we now call a wizard; by the year 1000, witch came to be defined as "a female magician or sorceress." More...

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