Demetri says every Greek American family can pick one specific part from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and say, ‘yep, that’s us.’ My title today is a line from it … when Kostas, the dad, is driving carpool and impressing the other children with how any word has its root in Greek. If you remember the movie, the kids think they’ve got him when they ask him for the roots of ‘kimono’ and he tells them it’s a robe that people wear in the winter because, hello, it’s based on the Greek word for winter: χειμωνασ. Toula, the daughter, was dying of embarrassment in the backseat.
Several months ago, Papou told me about an economist or professor who gave a speech in the 1950s in English but using only Greek words. A month or so later at a 2nd grade Laser Tag party, a dad told me the same thing … but he did one better by googling it and pulling it up for me.
The economist who gave this (and another) speech was Xenophon Zolotas. The prefix xeno- means foreign, so I’d like to think he was destined to bring the Greek language to the mainstream modern word. Zolotas is one of the best jewelry stores in all of Greece, but that probably has nothing to do with what I’m writing about. Anyway, Zolotas was the head of the bank of Greece right after World War II and then again for 12 years before the junta took power. In 1989, Zolotas was appointed a non-party prime minister, as the elections that year failed to give majority to either of the prominent political parties. He died at 100 years old and swam every day of his life.
Zolotas gave two speeches demonstrating the contributions of the Greek language to the English vocabulary. At the time of his address, Greece had just emerged from an awful civil war. Zolotas’ intention was to use these speeches to enlighten the spirit, substance and grandeur of Greek Culture. Have a look:
I always wished to address this Assembly in Greek, but realized that it would have been indeed “Greek” to all present in this room. I found out, however, that I could make my address in Greek which would still be English to everybody. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, l shall do it now, using with the exception of articles and prepositions, only Greek words.
I eulogize the archons of the Panethnic Numismatic Thesaurus and the Ecumenical Trapeza for the orthodoxy of their axioms, methods and policies, although there is an episode of cacophony of the Trapeza with Hellas. With enthusiasm we dialogue and synagonize at the synods of our didymous organizations in which polymorphous economic ideas and dogmas are analyzed and synthesized. Our critical problems such as the numismatic plethora generate some agony and melancholy. This phenomenon is characteristic of our epoch.
But, to my thesis, we have the dynamism to program therapeutic practices as a prophylaxis from chaos and catastrophe. In parallel, a Panethnic unhypocritical economic synergy and harmonization in a democratic climate is basic. I apologize for my eccentric monologue. I emphasize my euharistia to you, Kyrie to the eugenic arid generous American Ethnos and to the organizes and protagonists of his Amphictyony and the gastronomic symposia.
It is Zeus’ anathema on our epoch (for the dynamism of our economies) and the heresy of our economic method and policies that we should agonize the Skylla of nomismatic plethora and the Charybdis of economic anaemia. It is not my idiosyncracy to be ironic or sarcastic but my diagnosis would be that politicians are rather cryptoplethorists. Although they emphatically stigmatize nomismatic plethora, they energize it through their tactics and practices. Our policies should be based more on economic and less on political criteria. Our gnomon has to be a metron between economic,strategic and philanthropic scopes. Political magic has always been anti-economic.
In an epoch characterized by monopolies, oligopolies, monopolistic antagonism and polymorphous inelasticities, our policies have to be more orthological, but this should not be metamorphosed into plethorophobia, which is endemic among academic economists. Nomi smatic symmetry should not antagonize economic acme. A greater harmonization between the practices of the economic and nomismatic archons is basic. Parallel to this,we have to synchronize and harmonize more and more our economic and nomismatic policies panethnically. These scopes are more practicable now, when the prognostics of the political and economic barometer are halcyonic. The history of our didimus organization on this sphere has been didactic and their gnostic practices will always be a tonic to the polyonymous and idiomorphous ethnical economies. The genesis of the programmed organization will dynamize these policies.
Therefore, i sympathize, although not without criticism one or two themes with the apostles and the hierarchy of our organs in their zeal to program orthodox economic and nomismatic policies, although I have some logomachy with them.I apologize for having tyranized you with my Hellenic phraseology. In my epilogue, i emphasize my eulogy to the philoxenous aytoc htons of this cosmopolitan metropolis and my encomium to you, Kyrie stenographers.
Maybe good ole Kostas was onto something.
The word “ΓΛΩΣΣΑ” in the photo above, means ‘languages.’ Schools also use it to describe language arts activities, i.e., reading, writing, spelling.