Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Inspired by Kem’s post on power kegs, which led to powder cakes, I thought I’d go into the Internet Industrial Eggcorn kitchen looking for someone baking up some questions. Lorn behold, I ran across a post from 2008 on an ESL forum, when one Stephanie Mitchell had already pegged it for an eggcorn:
Just spotted on a listserv I get on completely non-English usage topics: ‘That would be baking the question.’ I think this wonderfully
conveys the sense of ‘pre-cooking’ a result one desires, which certainly was implied by the person who wrote the sentence and by the
context. I think this gives a nice hint of culinary delight to an otherwise dry expression.
http://www.learnglish.com/Uwe/Forum.asp … an-eggcorn
There were no live hits for baking the questions, but more than 30 unique instances of “bakes the question”. Baking the question is a natural substitute for the new sense of “raising the question” that this venerable expression has adopted.
Web security forum
This bakes the question, “Why is Norton recommending uninstalling its own application and sending customers elsewhere?”
Movie chat room
I know I don’t like lying, self-centered, selfish, ignorant people…so it bakes the question, “oh my jesus, why did I get married?!?!?”
“Bakes the question!” Ah, me. Such are the sordid byways traveled by minds in their desperate search of meaning. From the debating hall to the kitchen, in one short step.
“Begs the question” is already a much abused term, even without oven time. The phrase is a technical term for a certain kind of fallacious argument, an English calque of the Latin petitio principii. In the traditions of formal rhetoric the Latin term was applied to arguments in which the premise assumes (i.e., begs/requests the hearer to believe) the truth that the conclusion (the principio, the “question”) subsequently claims is proved by the argument. Many modern speakers use the phrase “begs the question” more generally, applying it to any species of fallacious reasoning. And why not? Meanings evolve. But I find, the widespread tendency to use “beg the question” as a synonym for “raise the question” a bridge too far.
I completely agree that the current tendency to use “beg the question” synonymously for “raise the question” is a bridge too far. Unfortunately, that bridge has been burned and the battle is over. We must retreat honorably. Therefore, I propose that “baking the question” officially replace the notorious “begging.” Is not the fallacious argument being prepared in advance for our consumption, disirregardless of its ingredients? (“Disirregardless” is the correct usage. The cumbersome “irregardless” and the not-even-a-real-word “regardless” are pedantic distractions.) Oops. Did I just bake a question?
A savoury one, bluecrab. Disrespect, verbed, was difficult to take; it was disirrespectless.
Folk etymology in action, which begs the imagination.
Lets take the example of “beggars the question” – how do we decide what the correct use of this expression is. According to that article historically it was used to translate the concept of “petitio principii” but at some point somebody decided to use it to mean “raise the question” and now “begs the question” is in common use – and I can see why such a transition might have come about as a antidote to commonly presented disingenuous statements. The I suppose the crux of matter is whether the original change is due to complete ignorance and misunderstanding causing a clear break with the original meaning (in this case possibly) or a transition of meaning which has its roots in the original meaning (in this case again possibly).
Baking questions without frequent basting or other laying on of lard can lead to a dry, chewy debate. Here’s a cure:
So this bacons the questions does the WTS. in it’s teachings cause mental instability in its followers. For example the professed notion that just about everything in the world is either worldly, demonic, or controlled by Satan
Are Jehovah’s Witnesses driven mad?
Ha! OK, here’s a more reasonable one:
Your Wikipedia page lists your next book as being a “look at how Woody Allen’s film ‘Love & Death’ should have won the Oscar for Best Picture.” This sounds like a cool idea, but I can’t tell if it’s a goof or not… which beacons the question: are you planning on writing such a book?
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