As A Metaphor, It's Maybe a 3-and-a-Half

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jul 23 13:42:32 UTC 2008

At 8:08 AM -0400 7/23/08, Doug Harris wrote:
>"Begs a question"     =    51,300 Google hits.
>"Begs the question"   = 2,580,000 Google hits.
>"Raises a question"   =   561,000 Google hits.
>"Raises the question" = 3,820,000 Google hits.
>Some would, some wouldn't.

Well, I agree that many use "beg the question" for "raise the
question".  But a google count is not going to distinguish between
those that use the former locution in the newer meaning (synonynous
with 'raise the question') and those who use it in the original
sense, that of philosophers going back to Aristotle, for the "petitio
principii" fallacy alluding to circularity of reasoning by assuming
the conclusion in arguing for it.  I did say "some would they the
same", not that all would.


>>"Nevertheless, the arguments for detailed and publicly acknowledged
>>pre-convention transition planning are overwhelming. This is a situation in
>>which the plane cannot be built while flying it."
>Well, it could be assumed that the intended allusion was "This is a
>situation recalling/reminding us that a plane cannot be built while
>flying it."  No allusions to planes that can be built while aloft.
>Sloppy, perhaps--but some would say the same for the use of "This
>begs a question" (for "This raises a question") above!
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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