The enlightenment happens when one reads a word in Greek, sees its meaning, then learns of the application in English. This gives the English word a new dimension that far surpasses previous understanding.
Just one such word is the English word 'thesaurus.'
Why is this word so stinking cool? I am glad that you asked!
This word comes from the Greek word 'θησαυρος'. Transliterated that is pronounced "thay-sore-oss." Or, more closely 'thesaurus.'
What it means is cool, though. It means "treasure."
A modern thesaurus is not a desk reference, but a "treasury of words."
How much more poetic can it get? How cool is that?!
It makes one begin to look at the English language and inquire: what else in American language and culture borrows itself from ancient cultures AND has much more significance than we give it?
Oh so much! The more I study Greek, the more I find.
Another example is the English word "eccentric." It can be traced to a compound word "εκσευτρικ" (my best guess; I don't have my reference in front of me), which broken down is 'εκ-' meaning "from, away from" and '-σευτρικ' (pronounced "centric") which means "center."
"Off centered." How funny is that?!
Other words of interest (and there are so many):
- galactic (word for milk in Greek; think Milky Way!)
- philosophy (love + wisdom; the love of wisdom)
- philanthropy (love + man; the love of man)
- and on!
(For example, learn why we are not and do not want to be a democracy, but are a republic! Words are VERY powerful.)
I could go on, and would love to share more as I learn more. I DO encourage anyone interested pick up the most powerful educational tool on Greek here. Basic Greek in 30 Minutes a Day
Learning other languages opens a "thesaurus" of words that can open the world around so much more. Take the time to understand the words you use. Expand your understanding of the world you live in.