It used to be that only the newspaper was daily, but now you can get a daily serving of vocabulary-building word activities on the Web, in your e-mailbox, or even on your pager or cell phone. Today's sites feature a new word, idiom, word game or quotation every day.
Random House's Mavens tackle the etymology (history and origins) of words and idioms in this daily column for high-schoolers and adults. On the question of whether "Wassup?" is a word or a contraction, Maven Enid responds "There's a better label for this kind of word, and this one gives us some insight into how a term like this comes to exist. We call it a "pronunciation spelling," which is a put-together spelling intended to express normal, casual, continuous, rapid speech. Some of these spellings, like "gonna," "gotta," and "lemme," have become frequent enough and conventionalized enough to have found a place in dictionaries."
Quotes of the Day provides four daily quotations from an eclectic collection both contemporary (Steven Wright: "There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.") and historic (Tolstoy: "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.") This daily dose is but one part of a large quotations site with a search engine. You can also access random quotes from a variety of collections such as Dave Barry ("Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but television's message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom and world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that offers whiter teeth *and* fresher breath.") or Twentieth Century Quotations (Albert Schweitzer: "Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.")
Got two minutes? These daily puzzles for high-schoolers and adults come in five formats, playing with definitions, synonyms, antonyms, word ladder transformations, slang, even some history and geography. The games require a Java-enabled browser and are based on reference material from Merriam-Webster. Some are a little slow to load, but the game play is very quick and very addictive. Visit the two-month archive at the bottom of the page to play previous games.
It used to be that only the newspaper was daily, but now you can get a daily serving of vocabulary-building word activities on the Web, in your e-mailbox, or even on your pager or cell phone. Today's sites feature a new word, idiom, word game or quotation every day.\n