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#36777 07/27/01 09:20 PM
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I hear the phrase "begging the question" frequently on the radio, television, and in miscellaneous conversations around me. It seems that I only rarely hear it used correctly (in its logical sense). Do other areas of the US and other countries also have people using this phrase literally, as in:

Radio announcer talking about senseless violence on civilians in foreign land: The atrocities of war beg the question of whether it is all worth it. Are the dying children worth the egotistic pride shown by the state's Parliament?


BTW, here's a logical definition (from one of my favorite dictionaries, next to Ambrose Bierce's Devil's):

http://skepdic.com/begging.html


#36778 07/27/01 09:58 PM
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It would be interesting to know how the phrase was coined. The word "beg" as defined in the dictionary does not seem to make any sense if you try to parse the phrase a word at a time.


#36779 07/27/01 10:05 PM
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it's not about parsing the phrase, it's just another sense of the word beg.
6. To take for granted without warrant; esp. in to beg the question: to take for granted the matter in dispute, to assume without proof.
1581 W. Clarke in Confer. iv. (1584) Ffiij, I say this is still to begge the question. 1687 Settle Refl. Dryden 13 Here he's at his old way of Begging the meaning. 1680 Burnet Rochester (1692) 82 This was to assert or beg the thing in Question. 1788 Reid Aristotle's Log. v. 3. 118 Begging the question is when the thing to be proved is assumed in the premises. 1852 Rogers Ecl. Faith 251 Many say it is begging the point in dispute. 1870 Bowen Logic ix. 294 The vulgar equivalent for petitio principii is begging the question.



#36780 07/28/01 11:40 AM
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The vulgar equivalent for petitio principii is begging the question.


One can hardly blame hoi polloi for misinterpreting such a nice point when the only use of this aberrant definition is in the phrase in question.

It's certainly not the only instance of a "proper" definition changing in the common speech from what it meant originally.


#36781 07/28/01 12:29 PM
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Faldage dijo: It's certainly not the only instance of a "proper" definition changing in the common speech from what it meant originally.

Now, c'mon, F... I think that's a moot point.


#36782 07/28/01 01:36 PM
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Fiberbabe thinks that's a moot point.

Silly girl.


#36783 07/28/01 02:51 PM
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Let's see some of you beggars "beg" something other than a question.


#36784 07/28/01 03:33 PM
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well, without giving it too much consideration, and merely referring to the citations cited above: begging the meaning; begging the point in dispute.... oh, here's a use for the first instance: begging the meaning of the word beg.


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I supposed that everyone had been hoping to avoid this, but
all right, I will make the move, ya buncha chickens!
http://wordsmith.org/board/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=miscellany&Number=40


#36786 07/28/01 04:23 PM
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Dr. Bill wants me to "beg" something other than a question.

I beg your pardon?


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