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Sunday, November 10, 2002
Begging the question
In The Guardian dated November 8th, there is an amusing letter that unintentionally raises a very important point:
On I-95 in the eastern US, near Washington, is a sign pointing the way to a Decoy Museum - which begs the question as to where the real one is ...It appears that the writer mean 'raises the question'.
When an expression changes its meaning, there is bound to be confusion. We should therefore have a fifty-year international moratorium on the use of the expression 'to beg the question'. This would give those of us that understand the original meaning - avoiding the question - time to die of rage at this example of the proliferation of 'Newspeak'.
Perhaps this dwindling band could meanwhile help by using the expression 'to beg the question', if they have to, without any associated attempt to state the question avoided.
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