Thursday, April 29, 2010

To beg the question

Mark Liberman, of the famously descriptivist bloggers at Language Log, has just posted an intimidatingly long treatise on the phrase "to beg the question." After tracing the genesis of the now-misused phrase's corruption back to a medieval Greek-to-Latin translation, he advises the following:

My recommendation: Never use the phrase yourself — use "assume the conclusion" or "raise the question", depending on what you mean — and cultivate an attitude of serene detachment in the face of its use by others.

Bimonthly, too. Totally ambiguous – is it every two weeks or every two months?

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