All Greek to Me


All Greek to Me One of the great strengths – and joys – of English is its diverse linguistic origins and the abandon with which it incorporates words from other languages. As David Crystal puts it in The Story of English in 100 Words, "English is a vacuum-cleaner of a language," so much so that "several hundred languages have contributed to its lexical character." However, the problem with loanwords, as these borrowings are called, is that their meaning can be lost on those who do not know their language of origin. A classic example is "hoi polloi," a Greek term that [...]