This week, my wife scared me half to death. I was so absorbed reading Plato, I had not noticed her sitting behind me. So, imagine my surprise when I turned to find a masked Greek theater performer (or, as it turns-out, my wife wearing her beauty treatment). While my pulse slowly returned to normal, I started wondering why Greek names haven’t caught on. After all, Greece is the cradle of civilization. Then again, perhaps the foreign-sounding appellatives add gravitas to the great philosophers of old. Would Socrates come down a notch if the folks in his dialogues had ordinary names like Bob, Joe or Mike; instead of Euthyphro, Crito or Simmias? Let’s take the phone booth time machine* out for a spin, babble fish** in ear, to the 5th century B.C., where we can be a fly on the wall for a random philosophical discourse:
- SOCRATES: So, Joe, we agree our senses trick us and don’t let us see the true essence of things. You good with that?
- JOE: Sure thing, bro!
- SOCRATES: And Bob, don’t it follow that pleasure and pain are like duct-tape, strapping the soul to the body, fooling the mind and making us think this world is more real, when we know that’s a bunch of hooey?
- BOB: Righteous, dude!
Alright. So maybe I laid-on the Bill and Ted/San Dimas High, too heavily (or was that Hillbilly and Ted?) Still, you get my point. Or, maybe you don’t, after all, donuts – Loukoumades, if you’re Greek — have no angles. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, that other great philosopher, mmm… loukoumades!
Monica playing the part of Xanthippe – or, perhaps the gorgon Medusa?
* A reference to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
** A reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.