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Author Topic: She likes it. You might hate it.  (Read 16921 times)

Mjollnir

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #60 on: July 24, 2012, 12:47:07 AM »

Prevailing use determines correct use. It always has and it always will. It's why we don't talk and write in the 21st century like Shakespeare did in the 17th.

JFC.

"Begging the question" is a formal logical fallacy.  It has nothing to do with 'prevailing use'.

If you don't understand the term, refrain from using it.

Grow up.
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popnfresh

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #61 on: July 24, 2012, 10:54:57 AM »

JFC.

"Begging the question" is a formal logical fallacy.  It has nothing to do with 'prevailing use'.

If you don't understand the term, refrain from using it.

Grow up.

No, you're the one who's wrong here. And speaking of growing up, I'll thank you to keep your ad hominem attacks to yourself.
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RSL

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #62 on: July 24, 2012, 11:57:47 AM »

Pop, the problem with this argument is that the current misuse of "begs the question" was started by somebody too ignorant to know much about the language. It's been carried on by others equally ignorant of English, and, because our school system has very few people nowadays who aren't ignorant of the language, the misuse has exploded. I hate to piss you off, because I have a high regard for your critiques of photographs posted here, but Mjollnir is right. This question has nothing to do with prevailing use.

popnfresh

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #63 on: July 24, 2012, 12:18:09 PM »

Pop, the problem with this argument is that the current misuse of "begs the question" was started by somebody too ignorant to know much about the language. It's been carried on by others equally ignorant of English, and, because our school system has very few people nowadays who aren't ignorant of the language, the misuse has exploded. I hate to piss you off, because I have a high regard for your critiques of photographs posted here, but Mjollnir is right. This question has nothing to do with prevailing use.

You can't piss me off, Russ, because unlike Mjolnir, you engage in civil discussion without resorting to personal attacks--the last resort of those who are incapable of making a rational argument.

But the phrase "begs the question" relies on an obsolete 16th century meaning of the word "beg". A more appropriate wording for the 21st century would be something like "assumes the premise" or "postulates the premise". "Begs the question" depends on linguistic tradition rather than current word meaning so it's therefore perfectly understandable that the majority of people who use the phrase today use it to mean "raises the question". Case in point: in 2008, Philip Corbett of the NY Times wrote an article on the usage of the phrase "begs the question" and discovered that in the previous year, Times writers had used the phrase 17 times in their articles. Of those, only two had used it to mean "assumes the premise", the rest used it the way I, and the majority, did. I'm guessing, but I assume they were all grownups, too, not to mention being better writers than any of us. This is how language changes. People have been changing English since English was first spoken. I'm sure if Chaucer were alive today he'd be livid over how we've bastardized the Saxon tongue.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 12:20:01 PM by popnfresh »
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Mjollnir

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #64 on: July 24, 2012, 12:19:13 PM »

No, you're the one who's wrong here. And speaking of growing up, I'll thank you to keep your ad hominem attacks to yourself.

A.  No, I'm not wrong.  It has a very specific meaning and is a formal logical fallacy.  "Prevailing use" is irrelevant.
B.  What ad hom?  I offered two suggestions that you might follow.
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popnfresh

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2012, 12:30:49 PM »

I offered two suggestions that you might follow.


I have one suggestion for where you can go.
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Chairman Bill

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2012, 12:45:38 PM »

From that flawless & always correct <ahem> source, wikipedia ...

Quote
Many English speakers use "begs the question" to mean "raises the question," or "impels the question," and follow that phrase with the question raised, for example, "this year's deficit is half a trillion dollars, which begs the question: how are we ever going to balance the budget?" Philosophers and many grammarians deem such usage incorrect. Academic linguist Mark Liberman recommends avoiding the phrase entirely, noting that because of shifts in usage in both Latin and English over the centuries, the relationship of the literal expression to its intended meaning is unintelligible and therefore it is now "such a confusing way to say it that only a few pedants understand the phrase."

RSL

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #69 on: July 24, 2012, 01:07:26 PM »

But the phrase "begs the question" relies on an obsolete 16th century meaning of the word "beg". A more appropriate wording for the 21st century would be something like "assumes the premise" or "postulates the premise". "Begs the question" depends on linguistic tradition rather than current word meaning so it's therefore perfectly understandable that the majority of people who use the phrase today use it to mean "raises the question". Case in point: in 2008, Philip Corbett of the NY Times wrote an article on the usage of the phrase "begs the question" and discovered that in the previous year, Times writers had used the phrase 17 times in their articles.

Hi Pop,

Yes, I understand what you're saying, and I don't entirely disagree. I'm certainly not in the (French?) camp that abhors changes in the language. I got into computers in the mid fifties and for the last sixty years I've watched that technical world enlarge and enrich the language. Our willingness to adopt words from French, Spanish, and many other languages makes the language much more useful, and precise. And precision is important. We think with language, and when the language becomes less precise and weaker our collective ability to think suffers. Which is why I hate to see a useful term like "it begs the question" become corrupted and meaningless. It's shorthand for an important concept, and there's a perfectly useful and precise alternative: "it raises the question." So why make the two terms synonymous and thereby lose a useful language tool? Who cares whether or not the phrase itself depends on linguistic tradition? Until quite recently the meaning was clear.

The fact that a bunch of New York Times writers used the phrase incorrectly doesn't surprise me, and bears out what I said earlier: the phrase is used that way by writers too ignorant to know the difference.

popnfresh

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #70 on: July 24, 2012, 01:14:54 PM »

Technically, it wasn't an ad hominem. You might have discerned an insult, but they're not the same thing

Actually, technically it was.

http://www.answers.com/topic/ad-hominem
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popnfresh

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #71 on: July 24, 2012, 01:17:19 PM »

Hi Pop,

Yes, I understand what you're saying, and I don't entirely disagree. I'm certainly not in the (French?) camp that abhors changes in the language. I got into computers in the mid fifties and for the last sixty years I've watched that technical world enlarge and enrich the language. Our willingness to adopt words from French, Spanish, and many other languages makes the language much more useful, and precise. And precision is important. We think with language, and when the language becomes less precise and weaker our collective ability to think suffers. Which is why I hate to see a useful term like "it begs the question" become corrupted and meaningless. It's shorthand for an important concept, and there's a perfectly useful and precise alternative: "it raises the question." So why make the two terms synonymous and thereby lose a useful language tool? Who cares whether or not the phrase itself depends on linguistic tradition? Until quite recently the meaning was clear.

The fact that a bunch of New York Times writers used the phrase incorrectly doesn't surprise me, and bears out what I said earlier: the phrase is used that way by writers too ignorant to know the difference.


I predict that the genie, being out of the bottle, will never go back in.
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Chairman Bill

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #72 on: July 24, 2012, 01:17:21 PM »

Can I just point out to our US cousins, that 'gotten' is old, old English in form, & shows just how far behind the times you all are. Just saying.

BTW, it's basil, not bay-sil, and oregano is defintely not pronounced oreg-ano, and route is pronounced 'root', not 'rout'. Just so you all know.

[/public service announcement]

popnfresh

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #73 on: July 24, 2012, 01:21:14 PM »

Can I just point out to our US cousins, that 'gotten' is old, old English in form, & shows just how far behind the times you all are. Just saying.

BTW, it's basil, not bay-sil, and oregano is defintely not pronounced oreg-ano, and route is pronounced 'root', not 'rout'. Just so you all know.

[/public service announcement]

There is something rotten with gotten.
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popnfresh

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #75 on: July 24, 2012, 01:43:01 PM »

No, technically it wasn't. In common (mis)usage it might have been, but that's no more technically correct usage than 'bad' or 'wicked' meaning 'good'

Please explain.
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RSL

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #76 on: July 24, 2012, 01:44:05 PM »

I predict that the genie, being out of the bottle, will never go back in.

I'm afraid you're right. Seems we've taken up improving our ignorance with a vengeance.

And I don't see anything wrong with "gotten." I use it all the time. Give me a nice, concise synonym.

Rob C

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #77 on: July 24, 2012, 01:51:16 PM »

I'm afraid you're right. Seems we've taken up improving our ignorance with a vengeance.

And I don't see anything wrong with "gotten." I use it all the time. Give me a nice, concise synonym.


Perhaps it's a U.S. thing; in Britain we do say ill-gotten gains, but I can't, off the cuff, think of another instance when we'd use it.

Rob C

Chairman Bill

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #78 on: July 24, 2012, 02:15:15 PM »

Please explain.

Technically, an argumentum ad hominem refers to an attempt to dismiss or negate an argument/line of reasoning by attacking the person, not the argument. Attaching a negative characteristic to the individual, is used to undermine their case.

So, "Chairman Bill is such a horrible person, therefore his views on photography are execrable" would be an ad hom. I might be horrible, but that has no bearing on my views vis a vis photography.

In contrast, "Chairman Bill is just a horrible person" doesn't constitute an ad hominem, even though it could be seen as a personal attack.

popnfresh

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Re: She likes it. You might hate it.
« Reply #79 on: July 24, 2012, 02:20:27 PM »

Technically, an argumentum ad hominem refers to an attempt to dismiss or negate an argument/line of reasoning by attacking the person, not the argument. Attaching a negative characteristic to the individual, is used to undermine their case.


Right. Like dismissing one's argument by saying that they need to "grow up".
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