Welcome to Words Matter, Dynamic Literacy's newsletter. 
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Welcome to issue #43  of  Words Matter , our bi-weekly newsletter .  Please feel free to share with a friend! 
Here's the good stuff.

When is a door not a door?  When it's  ajar !

That silly riddle relies on a favorite with us at Dynamic Literacy--wordplay. While WordBuild s tresses Latin and Greek prefixes and suffixes, there are some interesting, useful affixes native to English.

One of these is the prefix  a -.  Previously, we did an article about the simple little word  a , which comes from the English for  one .  Today's subject, the English prefix  a -, is short for the English word  on , so that English words with such a prefix are most often adverbs or adjectives expressing where or when, or in what condition something is.

There are words abed and asea. People can be all aflutter
or  aswoon  or  abuzz  with excitement.  You can be  taken  aback  or go  amiss  or be far  afield .

People today may text "C U in 10", while years ago, they might yell "Anon ", meaning "I'll be there in one minute (or one second or one day--soon)."

Every now and then we'll hear or see the word agogGog, meaning joy or glee, has gone by the wayside, but people continue to be agog at seeing a heart-throb or idol.  You know Robert Burns' admonition that the best laid plans of mice and men often go agley--that is, "on a squint" or sideways, and that John Brown's body lies amouldering in the grave.

Yet there are over a hundred examples of the English prefix a- alive and well in modern usage: awake, asleep, around, alone, alike, ahead, afloat, afire, ashore.

Enjoy thinking of more on your own.  It is easy to confuse this prefix with the Greek one that means not (amoral, atheist) or the Latin that means toward (avow, amass, agree), and several other occurrences of the prefix a-, but you can always consult a reliable dictionary or online etymology site so that you can keep abreast of what's afoot about a word that arouses your curiosity. 

One last thing: are you athirst to know what ajar means?  I'm atingle to tell you.  You might be jarred to learn that the morpheme jar in ajar means a turn on the hinge (rather than all the way shut or all the way open).  Words can amaze! -- R.D. "Doc" Larrick

Enjoy this brief student video that comes directly from WordBuildonLine Foundations Level 3. 

The suffix -ESQUE
The suffix -ESQUE

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Jerry Bailey
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