One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The purist form of modern Greek used in traditional literary writing, as opposed to the form that is spoken and used in everyday writing (called demotic).
- ‘But I have been told by a Greek friend about an uncle of hers, a priest, for whom katharevousa was the natural medium of expression.’
- ‘He excelled as a pupil and, like the minority of his generation who received schooling, he was taught through the medium of katharevousa - the archaic pure form of the Greek language.’
- ‘All these words were formed in the 19th century by writers who were using katharevousa.’
- ‘The chief problem with katharevousa was that it was an arbitrary mixture of ancient and modern features.’
- ‘Although dimotiki has been the official language of Greece since 1974, many types of katharevousa are actively used, mainly in the written language.’
Early 20th century: modern Greek, literally ‘purified’, feminine of kathareuōn, present participle of Greek kathareuein ‘be pure’, from katharos ‘pure’.
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