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    « Saturday Sky | Main | Hardening Off is the Hardest Part »

    Sunday, May 16, 2010


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    Did somebody get slap-happy with the cut and paste? I tried to read that list but just couldn't get past the you-know-what. Fingernails on a blackboard. Is it a joke? I don't get the point of repeating that phrase over and over again.





    Language Log did a piece on this recently:

    However, I must agree that the list you linked to is particularly egregious in its unthinking use of the phrase.


    Oh, hey, thanks for moving that one from my "oh, they just don't know any better" list to my pet peeve list, by providing that link. I'll be grinding my teeth every time I see 'begs the question' misused from now on.

    The one that makes me homicidal is "wah-lah."


    Poor Norma.
    At least with all those new food blog links you will have a delicious and new way to serve the poison mushrooms.
    (I have a new and healthy recipe up today)


    Third read through my poor Sunday morning brain figured this post out.... tahnk you for the brain exercise and now you have me thinking of better examples of proper use for the term. The ones I've seen so far are more confusing... any ideas?


    Huh. I honestly had no idea about this one. I'm sure I've misused it myself and now I feel like I should do a search on my blog to remove all misuses of it - just in case!


    I see examples of poor grammar every bloody day and it appears that schools are now downplaying the importance of good grammar. WTF? Thank you for the clip. I absolutely adore Lewis Black and that piece was brilliant!!!


    You bring up a good point and it begs the question...have I ever used the term begs the question.


    "This is why we fight." Love it. Carry on, Grammar Police.


    9 am,it's too early for serious issues like this. My first reaction to the "begs the question" turns it into a Gary Larson cartoon caption "Begs for questions" and show a teacher in the front of a lecture hall asking students "Any questions?"
    (Time for more coffee)


    I still go orbital about less/fewer but I think that is a battle already lost. Lately I've been reading blogs where people "catch a wild hair." Folks, it is hare, an animal that goes wild at mating season. Thanks for letting me vent, Norma.


    Can I have some of those mushrooms, please? With me today it's not language abuse, it's my religious fanatic relatives. Today there was a slight tremor in Puerto Rico and since it registered at 1:16am and today is the 16th apparently this is a sign from their imaginary friend. I would not mind their delusions if they were not denying climate change in the same breath.

    If you do not have any mushrooms I will take any poison you have at hand. Organically grown if you don't mind.

    mary lou

    Oh I sympathize. I have a few others, as well. Imagine working in a field (housing) where much is figured from knowing the median household income. There are people running organizations that keep saying MEDIUM household income. Then they tell an illustrative story or 'antidote.' Please pass me the mushrooms, sans antidote.


    English is a living language. It changes. We just have to get used to it.

    Having said that, I also want to say thank you for educating me. I didn't know exactly what "begs the question" meant myself, not that I would ever use the phrase -- if I don't know what it means, I wouldn't use it.

    And thanks for the Lewis Black clip. Made my day!


    Thank you for both making me laugh-Nazi Tourette's, I love Lewis Black-Nazi Tourette's, and making me think, all in the same blog post. I had to stop reading our local paper because I would get so angry at all the grammatical and spelling mistakes, and that wasn't a good way to start the day.


    I'll admit that I had no idea about the proper usage of that phrase, but I also don't use it because I always thought it sounded pompous. I'll agree with the others above that it's not the misuse that I now recognize, but rather the overuse of the phrase which is distracting. Really, there was no other way to state the premise of each blog?


    Thank you for being so strict about grammar. Yes indeed, it is a dying art, especially on the internet.

    Quite seriously, I've learned that the only way to maintain my sanity online is to simply suspend my sense of outrage at spelling/grammar/usage mistakes because otherwise I wouldn't last three minutes without my head exploding. We're "loosing" the war, you realize. (Quotation marks not added for emphasis -- I know the difference between lose/loose, thank you!-- but for mockery purposes, as anyone who mixes these up deserves to be mocked!)


    Thanks for the grammar lesson for today. Oh and Lewis Black is spot on!


    I love where your links lead..... From Grammar Girl, I got to Math Dude and learned how the Fibonacci sequence and resulting spiral can help improve your photography! Thanks! Learn sumpin' new every day.

    Angie L.

    My grammar-related pet peeves are your/you're and their/there/they're. How does something so simple slip past people? It's infuriating.


    "It's six degrees of Kevin Bacon, only it's only one degree, and Kevin Bacon is Hitler."

    I love this piece.


    Okay the first thing I thought about when I read your post - dogs. They beg but nope 2nd read and a glance at the link made it all clear. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

    mary lou

    OK, I went to the Farmers Market this morning and saw a sign for Air Loom tomatoes.

    Alarming Female

    oh, shit, Norma--have I used this one incorrectly all along? I haven't read the links yet, and your explanation was (I hope) tongue-in-cheek (another idiom, sorry) so I'm off to be schooled. I'll let you know if I'm a bigger idiot than I thought--

    Thanks for leading me to Grammar Girl on FB.

    Hey, and next time you make it to SLC, I want in on the Norma fix. Pout.

    Alarming Female

    Interesting links. I have probably used it wrongly. On the other hand, I've also taught the logical fallacy "begging the question," and I presume I was thinking that the conversational usage and the fallacy were two separate things. Of course, that is not the case.

    As always, my friend, you enlighten me.

    elizabeth a airhart

    good night


    whoooo baby! This I never knew!

    But "as of yet" bugs me for sure...

    DH has become a fungus fanatic, he could find you some poisonous ones...


    Yay! I learned something new that I didn't even know that I never knew.


    The "begging" part might more accurately be expressed as "begging off from answering" the question.

    I wish I could find a really good example of BTQ. The ones given on the links are weak enough that I can find ways for them to not be BTQ at all. (English can be a very subtle language, and words that are said to be synonyms often have significantly different meanings.) I think we need a better term, one not so easily misunderstood. I suggest "assuming the answer."


    How embarassing. I've absolutely used that incorrectly. Never again. Sounds like using it CORRECTLY calls for a reasonably rare situation.


    I want 2 travel mugs. One will have the definition of BTQ. The other will have the six degrees of Kevin Bacon quote that Ruth wrote.


    Love it! The video, the grammar links, the rant. You made my morning, Norma!

    Melissa in El Cajon

    Norma, you make me laugh. I know I've said that before, but there it is. You do. And that's why I read your blog!

    My word-related pet peeve involves the word "enamored." If we like something a lot, we are enamored of not with it!

    I love pet peeves. I have a lot of them -- but then, I guess they can't ALL be PET peeves, can they?

    Seanna Lea

    One of the news magazines misused to/too in something I was reading today. Between that error and the prevalent it's/its misuse, I am amazed I haven't turned into a lunatic. The easy-to-fix grammar mistakes drive me completely bonkers!


    Aaaaaaaah... yep, this one does it for me too. It's right up there with "the proof is in the pudding." Wrong, wrong, oh so wrong. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.


    How about "I could care less"? Really, you could? So you must care a lot now, right? It's "I couldn't care less". ARrrgh!

    The comments to this entry are closed.


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