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Pelion Upon Ossa

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In The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (Bookshop|Amazon), Simon Winchester refers to piling Pelion upon Ossa, meaning “making a difficult situation even more difficult.” Pelion and Ossa are the names of mountains in Greece, and the phrase alludes to Greek myths in which two nine-year-old giants who tried to pile mountains on top of each other in order to climb up to the lofty heights of Mount Olympus in order to declare war on the gods. Spoiler: the attackers lose. This is part of a complete episode.

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