beg » beckon

Chiefly in:   beckon the question

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • I guess this beckons the question: will anyone ever be able to compete with eBay? (Fat Wallet forums, Mar. 26, 2005)
  • This beckons the question: Why do minorities need affirmative action in the first place? (Ohio University Post, Jan. 27, 2003)
  • Numerous case studies of child fatalities involving faith healing and Christian Science, a specific branch of spiritual healing, beckons the following question: just how effective is this approach? (Issues: Berkeley Medical Journal, Fall 1998)

Analyzed or reported by:

A common pet peeve is the use of the expression begs the question to mean ‘prompts the question,’ rather than its original sense relating to the logical fallacy of assuming the very point one is trying to prove. As contributors to the alt.usage.english thread have noted, replacing beg with beckon in some ways salvages this expression by bringing it in line with what is actually meant.

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/06/11 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/09/25 at 6:30 pm

    “beg and call” for “beck and call.” One of many reanalyses of “beck and call” – “back end call,” “beckon call,” “beacon call” and others are already in the database. The version of the phrase using “beg” might have seemed particularly appropriate to the writer of the final example below, which is taken from an online catalogue for (apparently) domination/submission apparel. Examples:

    This situation will be inevitable if the majority of Rwandans (Hutu, Tutsi and Twa) perceive the institutions put in place by the Security Council […] as partisan instruments of oppression at the beg and call of the victor.…

    I’m an all day sucker when it comes to you
    So from morning until evening I’ll be at your beg and call
    I’ll do anything at all that pleases you
    You can wind me round your finger almost anyway at all…

    You’ll put him in a trance, he will be at your beg and call in these 5 inch black Seduce heels with adorning studs all over.…

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.