A few months ago, I was casting around my brain for a title for a music-related post on my blog, and came up with “Begging the Musical Question” – a play on the well-known phrase begging the question.
But something about the way I wanted to use the phrase nagged at me, so I looked up what it actually meant. I had thought the begging in begging the question meant something along the lines of “posing.” Boy, was I wrong. Begging the question – according to my copy of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable – is to “assume a proposition which, in reality, involves the conclusion” – in other words, to use circular logic. The entry in Brewer’s provides this example: if you say that parallel lines will never meet because they are parallel, you’ve begged the question. Continue reading “Throw Me to the Wolves – or Not”
Maybe it’s the weather. It’s been really hot here, and when it’s not hot, it’s rainy. In any case, I’m feeling kind of cranky lately. So when I ran across this article about words we all might be misusing, I was in the mood to: a) shake my head at the misguided masses, and b) share it far and wide.
And then I read it again and realized that some of the words the blogger had flagged weren’t really misused. Instead, the word’s definition had changed over the years/decades/eons. That happens quite often. I mean, you aren’t going to call a happy person “gay” these days, right? Not unless you know some additional details about them, anyway – details that may or may not have anything to do about their current emotional state.
Anyway, this realization made me crankier. So I came up with my own list of words whose misuse ought to be expunged from the zeitgeist. Continue reading “Words I Never Want to See Misused Again, Anywhere, Ever”