I had planned something else for today, but I heard on the radio that Prof. Xenophon Zolotas, a well-known public figure in Greece passed away at the age of 100. He was one of the youngest professors of the University of Athens, Governor of the Bank of Greece, member of the National Academy, and in 1989 served briefly as prime minister.
However, most of us here in Greece remember him because of two speeches he gave back in the 1950s at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He used only Greek words adopted by the English language. One of the words was the winning word at the US Spelling Bee contest (the word was “authochthons”). Here is what he said about the speech:
“I always wished to address this Assembly in Greek, but I 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, I shall do it now, using with the exception of articles and prepositions only Greek words.”
And here is the speech itself:
It is Zeus’ anathema on our epoch for the dynamism of our economies and the heresy of our economic methods and policies that we should agonize between the Scylla of numismatic plethora and the Charybdis of economic anemia. It is not my idiosyncrasy to be ironic or sarcastic but my diagnosis would be that politicians are rather cryptoplethoristic. Although they emphatically stigmatize numismatic plethora, energize it through their tactics and practices. Our policies have to be based more on economic and less on political criteria. Our gnomon has to be a metron between political, strategic and philanthropic scopes. Political magic has always been antieconomic. In our epoch characterized by monopolies, oligopolies, monopsonies, 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. Numismatic symmetry should not antagonize economic acme. A greater harmonization between the practices of the economic and numismatic archons is basic. Parallel to this, we have to synchronize and harmonize more and more our economic and numismatic policies panethnically. These scopes are more practical now, when the prognostics of the political and economic barometer are halcyonic. The history of our didymous organizations in the sphere has been didactic and their Gnostic practices will always be a tonic to the polyonymous and idiomorphous ethnical economics. The genesis of the programmed organizations will dynamize these policies. I sympathize, therefore, with the apostles and the hierarchy of our organizations in their zeal to program orthodox
economic and numismatic policies, although I have some logomachy with them.
I apologize for having tyrannized you with my Hellenic phraseology.
In my epilogue, I emphasize my eulogy to the philoxenous autochthons of this cosmopolitan metropolis and my encomium to you,
Kyrie, and the stenographers.
May his soul rest in peace.