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This Day in History - HISTORY
  • Mass suicide at Jonestown
    On November 18, 1978, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones leads hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their agricultural commune in a remote part of the South American nation of Guyana. Many of Jones’ followers willingly ingested a poison-laced punch while others were forced to do so ...
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  • Wikimedia Commons picture of the day for November 18
    Picture of the day
    Kyoto Station November 2016 -03.jpg
    Kyoto Station is a major railway station and transportation hub in Kyoto, Japan. It has Japan's second-largest station building and is one of the country's largest buildings, incorporating a shopping mall, hotel, movie theater, Isetan department store, and several local government facilities under one 15-story roof. The current station opened in 1997, commemorating Kyoto's 1,200th anniversary. It is 70 meters high and 470 meters from east to west, with a total floor area of 238,000 square meters. Architecturally, it exhibits many characteristics of futurism, with a slightly irregular cubic façade of plate glass over a steel frame. The architect was Hiroshi Hara.

Today I Found Out
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day
  • mot juste

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 18, 2019 is:

    mot juste • \moh-ZHEWST\  • noun

    : the exactly right word or phrasing


    "At best, thesauruses are mere rest stops in the search for the mot juste. Your destination is the dictionary." — John McPhee, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2013

    "My most potent talisman is the late Ted Hughes' impressive writing lectern … which I bought last year at auction. I used to fish with him, and I imagine he would have been amused to see me stand here at it, looking out over my Perthshire loch, biting a ballpoint and straining for the mot juste." — David Profumo, The Daily Telegraph (London), 8 June 2019

    Did you know?

    English was apparently unable to come up with its own mot juste to refer to a word or phrase that expresses exactly what the writer or speaker is trying to say, and so borrowed the French term instead. The borrowing was still very new when George Paston (the pen name of Emily Morse Symonds) described a character's wordsmithery in her 1899 novel A Writer's Life thusly: "She could launch her sentences into the air, knowing that they would fall upon their feet like cats, her brain was almost painlessly delivered of le mot juste…." As English speakers became more familiar with the term, they increasingly gave it the English article the instead of the French le.

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