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Word of the Day, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016



Word of the Day

mince 

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Definition: (verb) To moderate or restrain (words) for the sake of politeness and decorum; euphemize.
Synonyms: moderate, soften
Usage: She begged him not to mince words and to tell her exactly what had happened.

Idiom of the Day

cloud of suspicion

A general sentiment of suspicion of wrongdoing or illegality. More...

Article of the Day

Whistled Language

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Whistled language is a form of communication that uses whistling to emulate speech, generally by imitating the intonation of a natural language. Though relatively rare, whistled language is found in cultures around the world and is especially common in parts of West Africa, where even French is whistled in some areas. Such languages enable communication over long ranges and are usually found in locations with rough terrain. What culture fines men whose whistle-speech skills are deemed subpar?
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Daily Grammar Lesson

Gerunds as Objects of Verbs

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Gerunds very frequently function as the direct objects of "true" verbs. What type of verb is very likely to take a gerund as an object?
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This Day in History

The Apalachin Meeting (1957)

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The Apalachin Meeting was a summit of some 100 Mafiosi from the US, Canada, and Italy that was raided after their fancy cars and out-of-state license plates aroused the suspicions of law enforcement agents in Apalachin, New York. Fifty-eight Mafiosi, including bosses Carlo Gambino and Vito Genovese, were detained. Perhaps the most significant consequence of the raid was that it confirmed the American Mafia's existence, a fact that had long been denied by what prominent law enforcement official?
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Today's Birthday

Aaron Copland (1900)

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Famously public-spirited and generous, Copland came to be unofficially regarded as the US's national composer. Although his earliest works show European influences, the American character of the greater part of his compositions is evident in his use of jazz and American folk tunes. He is best known for his three ballets based on American folk material: Billy the Kid, Rodeo, and Appalachian Spring, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. For what films did Copland compose music?
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Today's Holiday

Loi Krathong

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Loi Krathong, an ancient festival held under a full moon throughout Thailand, is considered to be the loveliest of the country's festivals. After sunset, people make their way to the water to launch small lotus-shaped banana-leaf or paper boats, each holding a lighted candle, a flower, joss sticks, and a small coin. Loi means "to float" and Krathong is a "leaf cup" or "bowl." One legend linked to the origins of this festival holds that it celebrates the lotus blossoms that sprang up when the Buddha took his first baby steps.
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Quote of the Day

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He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favor of two.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

In the News

Yellowstone's Old Faithful: Scientists Explore Its Plumbing

Discuss
This month, the US Geological Survey (USGS) plans to fly a large, electromagnetic ring over Yellowstone National Park. It's all part of a new initiative to map the park's underground plumbing. Scientists from the USGS, the University of Wyoming, and Denmark's ...
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