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#1 2020-01-15 15:37:30

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 231

"begs the question", a new level

Now that “begs the question” has come to mean “raises the question” (which saddens me greatly), it is evolving on its own. Today I heard a talk radio host (not a famous one) say “Here’s the question this begs me”. Where did the “me” come from?

As misuse continues to change the meanings of words (which it always has, of course), I sometimes wonder how we are going to say certain things in the future. Once “literally” comes to mean “figuratively”, how are we going to say “She literally broke her arm”?


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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#2 2020-01-15 19:30:51

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2384
Website

Re: "begs the question", a new level

Maybe, considering the irritation you manifest, Bruce, it is a correption of “Here’s the question this bugs me (with)”. (It could also be “the question this begs me [to answer]” I suppose. That might be a kind of “begs [of/from] me”, too. Ya reckon?)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2020-01-15 19:37:55)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#3 2020-01-17 12:51:36

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 231

Re: "begs the question", a new level

Thanks, David, but, as I often say around here, I don’t think that much thought went into it. A person would naturally say “This is the question that raises.” The “begging” equivalent would then be “This is the question that begs,” and this speaker just added “me” without thought, I think.


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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#4 2020-01-19 06:00:54

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2384
Website

Re: "begs the question", a new level

I agree that there is little to no conscious thought involved, but I think the backs of our minds often do quite sophisticatedly funny things for not totally irrational reasons.
.
When you wrote “This is the question that raises”, my mind immediately corrected it to “This is the question that (a)rises.” Then, on the doubletake, “Oh, he means this is the question WHICH THAT raises.” In other words I had read the relative-clause-forming that where you meant it pronominally.
.
Something similar happened when I read your sentence This is the question that begs. If_that_ is taken as the relativizer, it would mean “the question which begs (for admission / consideration).
.
The expression that started all this, however (Here’s the question this begs me ), uses this instead of that , so there is no ambiguity.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2020-01-19 06:02:29)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#5 2020-01-19 07:14:06

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 231

Re: "begs the question", a new level

You’ve said some good stuff here, David.


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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#6 2020-01-20 06:36:20

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2384
Website

Re: "begs the question", a new level

I said:

The expression that started all this, however (Here’s the question this begs me), uses this instead of that , so there is no ambiguity.

I should have said “so that particular ambiguity is not there.” It is quite possible to parse: Here’s the question ―(and) this begs me … .
.
If it is taken so, the notion that begs substitutes for bugs becomes more plausible.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#7 2020-01-21 06:48:52

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 231

Re: "begs the question", a new level

No, I don’t find “bugs” plausible at all, at least in this particular example, because of the widespread use of “begs the question” to mean “raises the question”. This is just a new extension of that phrase.


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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