Throw Me to the Wolves – or Not

inconceivableA 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”

Words I Never Want to See Misused Again, Anywhere, Ever

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”