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Word of the Day, May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016



Word of the Day

escarp 

Discuss
Definition: (noun) A steep artificial slope in front of a fortification.
Synonyms: protective embankment
Usage: Instead of trying to breach the escarp, the army encircled the fortress, planning to starve out the inhabitants above.

Idiom of the Day

fresh-faced

Of or having an appearance of health, vitality, and/or youthfulness. More...

Article of the Day

Weasel Words

Discuss
"Weasel words" are words that are intended to, or have the effect of, softening the force of a potentially loaded or controversial statement. The term was coined by Stewart Chaplin in a 1900 short story and invokes the image of a sneaky weasel wriggling its way out of tight spaces in the same way that these words subtly redirect attention. One example of weasel words is the phrase "headcount reduction," which is used in the corporate world as a euphemism for what distasteful course of action?
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This Day in History

Six-Year-Old Etan Patz Abducted in New York (1979)

Discuss
In 1979, Etan Patz left his apartment by himself, for the very first time, to walk the two blocks to his school bus stop. He never made it there. His disappearance was widely covered by the media and led to the implementation of new methods for tracking down missing children, such as the milk carton campaigns of the 1980s. In 2010, the Manhattan district attorney announced that he had reopened the case into Patz's disappearance. Who was found liable for Patz's death in a civil case in 2004?
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Today's Birthday

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (1878)

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Robinson was an influential virtuoso tap dancer. An innovator, he was reputedly the first to dance on the balls of his feet instead of in the earlier flat-footed style. He began dancing professionally at the age of eight and became a popular nightclub and vaudeville performer. He first performed on Broadway in 1928 and was the first African American to star in a Ziegfield Follies. He appeared in 14 Hollywood features in the 1930s and 40s, including four that he made with which child actress?
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Today's Holiday

Moving Day (Scotland)

Discuss
The idea of packing up one's belongings and changing residences on a particular day has been a tradition in many countries. In Scotland, it was called Flitting Day and took place on May 25. The decision of whether to "sit or flit" was up to the tenant, but "flitting" seemed to be more common. On Flitting Day, they had to vacate their houses by noon, which often meant a great upheaval for the family during the preceding day or two. Apparently, the novelty value of flitting outweighed the boredom of sitting.
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Quote of the Day

  Discuss
The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

In the News

Exercise May Cut Risk of 13 Cancers, Study Suggests

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Exercise may significantly reduce your risk for many types of cancer, including some of the most lethal forms of the disease, a large review suggests. Working out for even a couple of hours a week appears to shrink the risk of breast, colon and lung ...
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