Welcome to Words Matter, Dynamic Literacy's newsletter. 
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Welcome to issue #22 of  Words Matter, our bi-weekly newsletter .  Please feel free to share with a friend! 
Here's the good stuff.
BOOM! (almost)

It's November 5, a date celebrated for something that did NOT happen!  In 1605, the so-called Gunpowder Plot to blow up King 
James I at the London Parliament was halted before it could be carried out.  The guy in charge of the gunpowder was caught red-handed (or maybe soot-handed) before anyone was hurt.  In fact, that guy was named Guy--Guy Fawkes.
His name soon became a synonym for a nasty, dangerous man, and grotesque effigies of Guy Fawkes would be carried around and burned in great bonfires on the anniversary of the failed plot.  To be called a guy was an insult to one's patriotism as well as appearance.

Gradually, the insult mellowed and the word shed its negativity.  A guy came to mean just any ordinary man--all men and boys were guys:  phrases like "just the guys" or "Guys and Gals" sprang up.  Nowadays, in fact, the word guys has come to mean people, all people--a server at a casual diner might ask, "What can I get you guys?" even when all the diners are female.

Words change that way over time.  Usages change.  Pronunciations change.  Spellings change.   Old words, alas, fade away.  New words and usages pop up as quickly as an app can download a blog.  But everywhere, in all that change, the core prefixes, suffixes, and roots that have been part of the English language for a thousand years and more are part of the richness of WordBuild  and in fact allow some of the changes to occur.  For example, it's easy and fun to understand why a computer mouse is called that when you know what the original little animal is, and the word blog is possible because of the root LOG in WordBuild's Elements I.

As you continue to learn how words are built, also enjoy learning about the origins and metamorphoses (changes in form) of words and phrases--and you can't help but learn some fascinating history at the same time.  Happy Guy Fawkes Day, guys!

Morpheme of the week:   The root SPEC

Enjoy this brief video that comes directly from WordBuild Elements Level 1. 
The root SPEC
The root SPEC

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Jerry Bailey
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