It used to be that only the newspaper was delivered daily. Now, a popular Internet genre is "... of the Day." This week I've chosen five sites that feature a daily word activity. I've found daily word definitions, idioms, word games and quotations. When visiting a site daily, you might find your Web browser serving you yesterday's page (from its memory or cache) instead of today's updated page. If this happens, use the reload button to force your browser to retrieve the current page.
"The music and magic of words -- that's what A.Word.A.Day is all about." Words are usually selected around a weekly theme, and emailed free (with definitions) to over 93,000 subscribers. You can view today's and yesterday's word at the Web site. I eagerly clicked on the Pronunciation link, and was disappointed when it didn't work ("unknown file format"). Past words are available in either a chronological or alphabetical archive.
This page features a daily expression from the Cobuild Dictionary of Idioms. Today's entry was "to the marrow." "If you say that you are chilled to the marrow or frozen to the marrow, you are emphasizing that you are very cold." It can also be used to emphasize the intensity of someone's beliefs, such as "communist to the marrow." The entries can be difficult to read because of errors in spacing between words, but exploring idioms is a fun way to deepen one's understanding of our language.
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.