ATHENS. A reeling Greek nation averted disaster today as it reached a temporary accord with creditors, but linguistics experts say the effort may be too little and too late as the nation will run out of syllables this Friday unless silent letters from euro-zone partners become available.
Members of elite Polysyllabilist corps
“For too long, the Greeks have lived high on the spelling hog with last names such as Papadopolopoulosas,” said Dr. Armand de Bergerac of Paris University. “What’s wrong with just ‘Plato’ or ‘Socrates’?”
Greece is a member of the “eurozone,” an economic and monetary union that consists of Austria, Belgium, the Cleveland Indians, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, a second-round draft pick from the Denver Broncos and a country to be named later. It issues the “euro,” a currency that can be redeemed for prizes at Chuck E. Cheese, a pizza restaurant that features arcade games fought over by overbearing parents.
Hermes ties, manufactured by Greek god of commerce
“Why should I, who has lived so long to pass on my name to my son, give it up to some fat-assed banker with a Hermes tie and slick-backed hair?” said Alkman Mossialosopapoulias, a shopkeeper here. “I chop offa his baklava before I chop offa one-a syllable of my name.”
Baklava (not shown actual size)
Finance ministers of other eurozone nations said they would draw down on reserves of silent letters if necessary in order to avoid a world-wide orthographic contagion, but would prefer to see Greece get its house in order before doing so.
“We probably don’t need both s’s in patisserie,” said Michel Gangemi, assistant undersecretary of phonics and fiscal affairs at the Banque de France. “But Germany should go first, with overgrown monstrosities such as Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz, which can mean either ‘beef labelling supervision duty assignment law’ or ‘feeling widow gets seeing daughter go out on first date with accountant’ depending on the context.”