Running out of Greek allusions? Try my literary bailout | David Shariatmadari

Damon Albarn

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To do justice to the ongoing Greek crisis, journalists should ditch the achilles heels and pyrrhic victories and explore the underused wonders of Greek myth and language. Lalochezia, anyone?

An air of inevitability has hung over journalists’ notebooks this past week. Not the certainty of economic chaos in the Aegean. No, I’m talking about the near 100% chance of finding a classical allusion in their copy. Multiple Greek tragedies, achilles heels and mentions of Icarus flying too close to the sun have now given way to a slew of pyrrhic victories as prime minister Alexis Tsipras emerges triumphant from his referendum gamble.

Greek myth has been plundered for its riches, just as the real treasuries of Athens are running dry. Nothing wrong with that: but hacks are going to have to dig a little deeper if they want to avoid repeating themselves. How about Horkos, the god who punishes those who break oaths? Or Moros, the spirit of impending doom?

Lalochezia, from lalia (speech) and chezo (to defecate) – to relieve stress through swearing

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