I was in Delhi on Wednesday; a full day with only a couple of meetings and some free time in between. I put that to good use, catching up with my daughter and meeting Dhrubajyoti Gayan, a former colleague who now runs a PR consultancy, Candour.
We planned to meet at his office at Safdarjang Enclave. He gave me the address and asked me to look out for a Café Coffee Day and a restaurant called ‘It’s Greek to me”.
Very original name for a Greek restaurant I thought. Not.
Later that day, thanks to the rain Gods, I was drinking a beer or three waiting for my delayed flight and I received a press release on my BB on the Mint/BloombergUTV ‘plagiarism’ dispute.
And I looked at the attachments that were kindly provided and I thought, where in heaven is the plagiarism?
Both campaigns draw inspiration from an old, old idiom, ‘That’s Greek to me’ or ‘It’s all Greek to me.”
I heard the phrase the first time when I studied Julius Caesar in school, and I loved the phrase. I couldn’t remember the precise words, so I googled ‘It’s Greek to me + Julius Caesar’ and landed up on a Wikipedia page which revealed the following:
“That's Greek to me or It's (all) Greek to me is an idiom/dead metaphor in English, claiming that an expression is incomprehensible, either due to complexity or imprecision. The expression may be used with respect to verbal expressions with excessive jargon of dialect, mathematics, or science. The metaphor makes reference to the Greek language and the Greek alphabet (either ancient or modern).
The usage of the metaphor in English language traces back to early modern times:
but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me
(William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (1599))
This line works literally too, since speaker Casca has just returned from a celebration at which he says that Cicero spoke in Greek, and "it was Greek to me."
The expression is almost exclusively used with reference to the speaker (generally "Greek to me"; rarely or never "Greek to him").”
So two campaigns draw inspiration from an idiom which is certainly a few hundred years old and one says the other was a plagiarist?
What does poor William Shakespeare do? Sue Mint?
Surely this is Much Ado about Nothing.