Network outage in the data center

by Micah on September 29, 2015

19:59 PT: We sincerely apologize for Membean being presently unreachable. We are in contact with our data center to understand the network issue. We will update you here just as soon as we know more.


20:05 PT: The network is back up, and looks to be back to normal speed. Sorry again for the inconvenience.

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Podcast: Latin Word Root Spect: See

by Brett on September 15, 2015

The Latin root word spect meaning “see” is now part of our archive of Greek and Latin root word podcasts.  Our newest podcast reveals:

Why a “spectator” might use “spectacles”

How something “inconspicuous” is etymologically linked with something “spectacular” and “speculative”

Which word Aretha Franklin uses that is derived from the Latin root word “spect”

A new “perspective” on the word “despicable”

If it is possible for “specters” to be “seen”

If you can “expect” an “inspector” to be “suspicious”

And more!  You have to “see” it to believe it!


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Membean’s Enhanced Word Roots Podcasts

by Brett on September 4, 2015

If you’ve been a long-time listener to Membean’s word roots podcasts,  you will not only be delighted that our first new podcast is out for the academic year (Latin root word cred-believe), but you will also get to experience a special auditory treat: the voice of Doug Lain.  Doug has been writing and producing his own podcasts for about six years now (Doug’s bio and podcasts are available at, and Membean is thrilled to have him on board.  Doug brings an engaging voice and entertaining background sounds to our podquest* for teaching vocabulary, adding an entirely new dimension that we hope you will love as much as we do.

Micah Elliott will continue using his expertise to bring our podcasts to the web, and Brett Brunner will continue to write them.

Membean will be publishing podcasts at the beginning and middle of each month during the academic year.  Be sure to follow our Twitter and Facebook pages to get updates!


*: podquest: podcasts that fulfill a quest

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Words with Multiple Roots: Agglutination

May 4, 2015 Roots

Although the vast majority of words have single roots, often with some affixes (prefixes and/or suffixes) attached to them, nevertheless there are some words that use multiple roots to convey their meaning. Let’s take a l0ok at several examples of words which use multiple roots in their shaping: emancipation:  this word begins with the prefix […]

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Adding Multiple Prefixes to a Root Word: Agglutination

March 7, 2015 Roots

Most words only add one prefix to their roots, or at the most two.  Here is a good example of how prefixes can alter the meanings of those words: venue: a place where an event is held.  Note that there are no prefixes that comprise this word.  Here is a podcast on the root word ven: “come”. […]

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Membean production data center is presently inaccessible

February 26, 2015 Roots

We apologize for the service outage. We are working with our data center to understand the issue.  We were just informed that it will be 10-15 minutes before service resumes as normal. UPDATE, 12:31 PT: An update from the data center just came through. They are trying to re-route through a known good network channel. […]

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When Prefixes Add Emphasis

February 1, 2015 Roots

Etymology is a huge help when it comes to figuring out the core meaning of a word.  This post will focus on how prefixes work, one of the primary morphemes that build English vocabulary words.  Prefixes are those parts of words that come before the root, altering or emphasizing a particular word’s meaning.  For instance: […]

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Membean Now Schedules Your Assessments

January 10, 2015 Roots

Scheduling assessments to recur on a regular basis is now a breeze to set up. You can choose a recurrence period that fits right in with your schedule, and we’ll autogenerate assessments for you throughout the year, or however long you want. It even has some smarts for common holidays, but be sure to delete […]

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Level 6 Has Arrived

January 10, 2015 Annoucements

If you have students who have already seen the upper echelons of our words (all words in Level 5), they can now encounter new words again with our just released Level 6.  It’s like cranking the volume to 11!  Maybe we should have called it L11, because some of the words are that challenging.  Nevertheless, they are still […]

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Grammar Made Easy: Word Origin of the Direct Object

January 2, 2015 Roots

English grammar is filled with confusing terms.  None are probably as misunderstood or hard to grasp as functions of nouns, which tend to be abstract.  It is enlightening to learn the etymology behind grammatical terms, the ideas of which are very simple.  Learning why a word was made in the first place can often demystify that […]

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