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In a spirit like that I had moved, when I was saying that a certain place is not, though some people may understand it as such, a compound of earth, plants and water. It is the projection of a nation’s soul onto matter.
I want to believe – and this faith of mine always reveals itself first in its struggle with knowledge – that, however it is examined, the eternal presence of the Greek people on whichever shore of the Aegean managed to establish an orthography, where every omega, every upsilon, every acute accent and every iota subscript, is not but a turn, a downward slope, a bend of the stern of a floating vessel, a wavy vineyard, a church yard, white or red blots, here or there, from dove-cots or pots of geraniums.
It is a language with a very strict grammar, which was forged by the nation itself, since the time when it did not go to school. And it maintained it with religious piety and admirable strength, in the darkest centuries. Until we came, with our diplomas and laws, to help it. And we almost eliminated it. From one part we took the remains of its script and from another we took its very substance, we socialized it, we changed it into another townsman, who is looking with an air of confusion from a window of an apartment block in Aigaleo.
I am not referring to a certain lost graphic quality. I don’t remember having lived in a good enough age to appreciate it. I just can’t stand bad spelling. It upsets me. I feel like the letters of my own surname are being mixed up, so that I don’t know who I am, so I don’t belong anywhere. So much I feel my life connected with that ‘global language’, which is non other than the visible stage of the Greek language, and with its double form is capable of both speaking and drawing. And which continues as silently as drastically, despite the aforementioned interventions, to penetrate deep into history and into the essence which gave birth to it, so as to change large amounts of the past into the present, and to change from that present to an organ endowed with the ability to lead the elements of our life into their original natural truth.
Odysseas Elytis

The view that it makes life easier for students and that it may be a bar to learning has been overestimated. There is however a tradition expressing the views of great teachers, who insist that a child must encounter difficulties so as to become an efficient adult, so that he can deal with all difficulties in his life. The view that the work of printers, archivists, and that publishing generally would become a lot cheaper has also been advanced in favor of the monotonic system. The reasons for which scholars established the polytonic system in the time of Alexander the Great and have survived until the present day have not been fully appreciated though. Many times, my works are not read correctly when printed in the monotonic system. Let’s hope the issue will be reexamined in the future and that wiser views will prevail.
Nikiforos Vrettakos

If, gentlemen of the ministry, you did not want to establish a phonetic orthography, then you should have left the accents and the breathings, because those who created them knew what they were doing. They didn’t exist in ancient Greek, simply because they existed in the words themselves. They, Kriaras, and the others, the four legged beasts who made these reforms – this please should be written in the newspapers – don’t know what a language is. They don’t know what my daughter knew when she was three years old. She learned a new word and was immediately searching for related words. That is a language, a magma, a network, in which words are created from each other, where meanings slip from one to the other, it is an organic unity from which you cannot take out and add things, on the whims of a false government, sitting in an office of the Ministry of Education. Abolishing accents and breathings is abolishing orthography which finally is abolishing continuity. Already, children cannot understand Kavafis, Seferis, Elitis, because they are full of the wealth of ancient Greek. In other words we are going to destroy everything that we built. This is the tragic fate of modern Greece.
Cornelius Castoriadis

Poets and writers give the character of the nation. This character is what they are trying to corrupt. We don’t have a Greek character.
There is an attitude which wants to simplify everything. And I wonder why? Because people shouldn’t work? Because the fruit of work is frowned upon so much though we need it so much now especially when we belong to Europe and we need these spiritual weapons more than ever.
This attitude of simplification has lead us to the point where we see everything as bad and vulgar. It is despairing, painful, not to say deadly.
Does any one wonder what and from whom the new generation with which the present situation is so concerned about will receive. What is the purpose of those responsible for treating the language so badly? What and from whom do they want to pass on what they have received?
Blasphemy and nothing more characterizes the present situation. Blasphemy and, unfortunately, blasphemy is always followed by punishment. Now of course we are speaking of a cultured world, of cultural events. What does cultural mean? We are playing with words. We say words. And of course behind those words there is nothing more than one purpose: The demolition of the language, the abolition of meanings, so that people will not be able to communicate with each other, nor to think. Because that is the only way certain people can do their work: to bury the country. (...) I am Greek, for this I am experiencing pain and suffering for what I am witnessing. For what I feel is coming.
Dimitris Horn

My admiration towards the Greek civilization is endless, except the change you are making to your language is confusing. The monotonic system after troubling Greeks, is also confusing foreigners. Πηγὴ κακῶν Ἑλλήνων καὶ τῆς Ἑλλάδος θαυμαστῶν!
Jacqueline de Romilly

Every such intervention is not only criminal against the language, in other words against a valuable national cell, but idiotic. One of the recent destructive attempts against our language is the infamous monotonic system.
Antonis Samarakis

I am in favor of the old system, against the monotonic system and in favor of teaching ancient Greek. It is the basis of knowing the etymology of words. Today’s mutilation of the language is annoying me even visually. I want to see the word “καφενεῖον” even if the “ν” is silent. Now all words have a hole.
Odysseas Elytis

When all the great nations such as the Chinese, the Japanese or the Arabs keep their script for centuries, why can’t the average Greek be bothered to write the circumflex?
Yannis Tsarouchis


Dimitris Kitsikis

Ioannis Gavriilidis

Don’t abolish the iota subscript, especially from under the omega. It’s a shame for the smallest naughty detail of out alphabet to vanish.
Dinos Christianopoulos

All texts I see seem the same,
identical lines, without aesthetics:
‘Τραῖνο’ is now written with an epsilon on its own,
the alpha-iota has vanished like a steam engine.

I missed the breathings and the iota subscript,
I miss my love the polytonic system.
I find it cold and joyless without the circumflex,
to say and to write the phrase ‘σ᾿ ἀγαπῶ!’ (I love you).

This is why I’m telling you about orthography,
about Tzartzanos’s spelling and grammar,
in the word ‘ἁγνὸς’ (pure), don’t forget to add a rough breathing,
and ‘ἔρωτας’ (love) who is sweeter, don’t forget to add a smooth breathing.

I missed the breathings and the iota subscript,
I miss my love the polytonic system.
I find it cold and joyless without the circumflex,
to say and to write the phrase ‘σ᾿ ἀγαπῶ!’ (I love you).
Nektarios Mamalougkos

It never looses it’s value

Even without sales, the cases have unfortunately fallen.
So poor without the smooth breathing, without a breathing in general.
Only with a body, which is in effect in a coma.
What can I give you without the Dative case?
Without the Optative mode however many wishes I had they would not make it there.
We are now alone, separated with the musts and don’ts.
The ‘σ᾿ ἀγαπῶ’ (I love you) without the circumflex!
But my love patiently withstands everything.
Aggeliki Sidera

Scientific reality (MP3)

Ministries of education with uneducated people
Pedagogic institutes with antipedagogic methods
Long-ahead planned short circuits in our thought,
like the removal of the polytonic system from our words.
                              From the record “Ἔσσεται ἦμαρ” of the group Terror X Crew

Why humour is good for you!

Greetings sacred accents, acute accents, grave accents, circumflexes! Greetings smooth breathings, rough breathings, dots, half dots, question marks, greetings! The world fears your strength, and no poet, nor writer can write a word without first submitting to you. You inspired, before you were born, Homer, when he sang the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Hymns, and the people of Greece surrounded him and understood him; you inspired him when he describes the farewell of Hector to Andromache, and his child fears him and hides; you inspired him when he describes the poor king of Troy, when he goes to Achilles, and falls to his knees, kisses his hands, which had just earlier killed his dearest son. You inspired Dante when he sang Ugoline with a strength which I cannot compare with any in the old poetry; you Shakespeare when he was depicting Lear, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and all England was moved; you inspired Russin, you inspired Goethe, you inspired Pindar, who was upset with the wise men of his age and he calls them crows. Crows, all real crows, and worse than the crow since he came out of the Arc and fed on the remains which had survived the Great Flood.
Dionysios Solomos

Using polytonic in 2050 AD

The polytonic system by the fhe Posidoniates
Was forgotten as for so many centuries mixed
They were with progressives, culturists and linguists.
All that was left to them was the polytonic.
It was a secret script with acute accents and circumflexes.
And a habit of theirs was at the end of the festival
To recite the rules of accentuation,
Which were only understood by a few:
‘the pre-penultimate syllable is never crowned
when those standing out slap them during training.
Oh, if, brothers, we could remember the digamma and the rough breathing,
We would not have like fools caught dyslexia’.
And thus melancholically their festival usually ended.
Because they could remember that they used the polytonic script at some time
And to the pride of their teacher added a circumflex to the epsilon.
Ad now they have fallen, how they have become,
To write and speak country English,
Fully uprooted from the polytonic script.

Open right side only for printing