The astute Wm. Briggs has noted the following horrifying quotation of Winston Churchill:
Yes, that's right. The horror is
that ordinary English phrasing has to be translated for the modern ear. That "retrograde" and "moribund" and "hydrophobia" must be explained to the Early PostModern reader speaks loudly about the decline of education. Such terms cannot be found in the lyrics of popular song, nor in tweets and Facebook updates, nor even in the moribund dialogue of popular books and moving picture shows. So what good is it to teach vocabulary?
Recently elsewhere I encountered a blog comment about the commentator's effort to fill in his education by reading the Odyssey. The motives were excellent, but he gave up because he was reading a 1930 translation and did not understand the English.
O tempora! O mores!