April 5, 2016
In college I was stage manager for a production of Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love, a long play (I think ours was about 5 hours) about memory, scholarship, classics, love, et al. set in 19th century Oxford. In one of my favorite moments, the main character, a homosexual, hears the word “homosexual” for the first time. He responds, ” ‘Homosexuals’? Who is responsible for this barbarity? […] It’s half Greek and half Latin!” He’s upset that “homosexual” is a mashup of the Ancient Greek ομός (meaning “like” or “same”) and the Latin sexualis (“relating to sex”).