“For the first eight years of our marriage, [Michelle and I] were paying more in student loans than what we were paying for our mortgage. So we know what this is about.
And we were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income. But we only finished paying off our student loans—check this out, all right, I’m the President of the United States—we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago.”—President Obama in North Carolina today on why Congress has to act to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling (via barackobama)
By Dan Curley, Classics Department Associate Professor and Chai, Skidmore College
(1) The Greeks did not wear togas, especially not Greek gods. You’re thinking of the Romans. Please do not ever associate “Greeks” and “togas” again. If, however, you want to advertise your party with the catchphrase, “We put the TOGA in Saratoga,” go ahead. You’re welcome.
(2) The word “Bacchanal” is, ultimately, a Latin word, derived from the name of the god Bacchus. Bacchus, as you seem to be aware, was the god of wine and of partying in general. (Though there is more to him than that.) However, since he’s more famous as a Roman god, it’s very unlikely that Greek gods would show up to his party. Hence, please encourage your attendees to unleash their inner Venus (the Roman Aphrodite) instead — if she must be unleashed in public and all that.
(3) Apollo is an exception to this rule, since Apollo’s Roman name is also Apollo. So encouraging folks to unleash their inner Apollo at a Bacchanal is fine — provided that you remember he is a god of enlightenment rather than drunken revelry. In fact, he’s usually so busy providing oracles, making prophecies, and healing the sick, that I doubt he has time for too many parties. Hence, unleashing one’s inner Apollo at a Bacchanal might not be the thing, unless you’re looking to end the party. That bright orb that stings your eyes the morning after and calls you back to reason? THAT’S Apollo. Invite him at your own risk.
(3a) Also, the laurel wreath is Apollo’s emblem. Hence, when you urge your prospective audience to “think laurel wreaths,” you are in fact inviting them to behave like Apollo. (See my remarks under number 3, above.) Please encourage them to “think ivy wreaths” instead: ivy is Bacchus’ plant.
(5) Thank you in advance for not using Greek sigmas (our s-equivalent) as the letter E to make things look more Greeky and stuff. You know: GRΣΣKY. Don’t do that. (You didn’t.) It is rumored that such offenses against the language will cause Alexander the Great to rise from the dead and take names. That wouldn’t be so bad — especially if he came looking like Colin Farrell or even Richard Burton — but (pro tip) you really don’t want to hedge your bets when Alex is in one of his moods. For instruction in the proper usage of Greek letters, I invite everyone to take CG 110: Elementary Greek this fall.