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Word of the Day



Definition: (adjective) Hypocritically, complacently, or effusively earnest.
Synonyms:fulsome, oleaginous, unctuous
Usage:His smarmy speech left no doubt that he actually felt superior to those he was meant to be praising. Discuss. Play

Daily Grammar Lesson


Using Comparative Adjectives

When using comparative adjectives, the two nouns that are being compared can both appear in the sentence. This is the case if there is any chance of the listener or reader being confused by what you're talking about. When we need to mention both nouns, what structure do we follow? More... Discuss

Article of the Day



Nicotine, a naturally occurring constituent of tobacco, is the addictive, active ingredient in tobacco smoke. Although nicotine is highly toxic—it is used as an insecticide, fumigant, and vermifuge and in large doses can cause respiratory paralysis and even death in humans—the amount inhaled when smoking a cigarette is relatively small, about 3 mg. Depending on how it is inhaled, nicotine can act as a stimulant or as a tranquilizer. What is a lethal dose of nicotine for humans? More... Discuss

This Day in History


Clara Barton Establishes the American Red Cross (1881)

The American Red Cross (ARC) is part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It provides disaster relief and emergency assistance in the US and is the country's largest supplier of banked blood. American humanitarian Clara Barton established the ARC after working with the International Red Cross during a visit to Europe. Just months after its establishment, the ARC faced its first test when a fire where left thousands homeless and in desperate need of aid? More... Discuss

Today's Birthday


Alexander Pope (1688)

Pope, recognized as the greatest English poet of the 18th century, was almost entirely self-taught. He established his poetic reputation with the Pastorals in 1709 and the Essay on Criticism in 1711. The Rape of the Lock, a mock-heroic epic ridiculing high society, is perhaps his most popular work. A number of passages from his works have taken on a somewhat proverbial quality, such as "To err is human, to forgive, divine." From what health problems did Pope suffer? More... Discuss

Quotation of the Day

A book is a friend whose face is constantly changing. If you read it when you are recovering from an illness, and return to it years after, it is changed surely, with the change in yourself.

Andrew Lang (1844-1912) Discuss

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Grammar Quiz

Which of the following prepositional phrases (in bold) is an adjectival prepositional phrase?

Spelling Bee

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adj. Growing or remaining under water
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Today's Holiday


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This national holiday in Chile is often called Día de las Glorias Navales ("The Day of the Glorious Navy"). From 1879 to 1881, the Chilean navy fought an alliance of Peru and Bolivia in the War of the Pacific. The Chilean victory in the Battle of Iquique on May 21, 1879, was a turning point in a war that Chile eventually won decisively. The holiday is celebrated throughout Chile with festivals, military parades, and speeches. Sporting events, including boat and bicycle races, are held in honor of the holiday. Many people dress in traditional costumes as a symbol of national pride. More... Discuss


Idiom of the Day

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To be happened upon when one is not ready, prepared, or on guard; to be shocked or startled by someone or something. More... Discuss