Ori Orbach, Israel's top orthodox satirist, writes about a new translation of the Bible that has just come out, into modern Hebrew. The quotes he brings are all awful, especially if you can read the original. One of the things that often get lost in translations of the Bible is the incredible power of its language. Orbach concedes that modern school children who've never read the Bible may not easily understand all of it, but suggests that rather than stooping to their level, they should be required to work at it until the problem disappears, leaving us all much richer.
(The link is to an article that appeared only in Hebrew. Heh).
This seems to have echoes of a broader discussion: the post-modern claim that there is nothing intrinsically more valuable in high language than in gutter slang. Whatever people speak is their language. You may subscribe to that theory, if you wish, but the price you'll pay will be the loss of high language. Come to think of it, once this idea permeates an educational system and relieves children from the "burden" of working at learning their language, everyone loses, in whatever language. Words such as these, and also these, were formulated by men who well understood the power of language at its best, and had worked hard to achieve it.
In a parallel development, the Technion has decided to attract foreign students by teaching its MBA program in English. This bothers me less than you might think. English really is a the primary language of business, so having the ability to conduct your business in it is no problem. So long as you have a fine control of your mother tongue first (most people only do MBAs many years after they've learned to read, write, and think).