COMEDY AND TRAGEDY

This is a list about words and how they are confounding and astounding and amazing.
  1. The word "comedy." It comes, originally, from ancient Greek. "kōmos" means "revel" and "aoidos" means "singer" (from the verb "aeidein" or "sing.")
  2. So a "comedy" is a song or play by a bunch of singers/actors making merry/engaging is riotous or noisy festivities. Possibly with dancing.
  3. I'm not sure riotously singing, dancing actors sounds very funny per se, but there it is. The origin of the word "comedy." Maybe we had not invented jokes yet.
  4. Tragedy also comes from ancient Greek. "Tragōidia" is the actual ancient Greek word. "Tragos" means "goat." and "ōidē" means song.
  5. So a "tragedy" is a, um, "goat song."
  6. But this is the interesting part. We don't really know what a "goat song" is.
  7. It could be a singing goat.
  8. It could be a singing and dancing goat.
  9. It could be a bunch of singers/actors singing about a goat while dancing around.
  10. It could be a bunch of singers/actors singing and dancing literally in a circle around an actual alive goat.
  11. It could be a bunch of actors/singers singing and dancing around WITH a goat.
  12. There could have been a goat sacrifice involved.
  13. WE LITERALLY HAVE NO IDEA
  14. The exact origin of "goat song" (or "goat dance" or "goat play") has been completely lost to history.
  15. But a goat dance by any of the above definitions sounds HILARIOUS, doesn't it?
  16. When I think of a "tragedy" I think of OEDIPUS REX or HAMLET.
  17. I do not think of a dancing goat. Or of people singing and dancing around a goat.
  18. And so I'm left thinking that, originally, "tragedies" were actually really, really funny.
  19. And it is ironic.
  20. And it makes me love words all the more to think about all this.
  21. So when a friend is about to go see a tragedy at the theatre, call out, "Enjoy your goat dance!" And then dance away tragically.
  22. THE END