In honour of the Olympic games in Athens, here is the origin of my favourite Greek word: echo (from Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, my translation as I only have the French version of her book).

Echo was a favourite of Artemis, the goddess of woods and wild creatures, but one day she upset an even more powerful goddess : Hera herself, who was, as usual, trying to find out what Zeus was up to. She feared he was romantically involved with one of the nymphs, but which one? She needed to know, and started to investigate. Echo and her chattering managed to delay the goddess; as Hera, amused, was listening to her, Zeus and the nymph made their escape. Hera had to concede that this time, she wouldn’t find out who Zeus was so keen on. Unfair as ever, she turned her fury to Echo; she condemned her to only use her tongue to repeat what she had been told: "You shall always have the last word, but you’ll never speak first again", Hera told her. [After Narcisse turned her down,] she hid her embarrassment and shame in a lonely cave and never consoled herself. Since then, she’s lived in caves and recesses, and her regrets have caused her to fade away and loose so much weight that there is nothing left of her but her voice.

I’m off tomorrow on a much deserved holiday. Let’s hope the anti-spam army I’ve summoned holds the fort while I’m away.