Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Best of the Web Today Friday 18 May 2012:

"....Either way, the statement that it was a "fact-checking error" begs the question: What was the source of the false information about his birthplace?"


William Safire is quoted describing 'begging the question' as "... presenting as proof something that itself needs proving, like the logical fallacy 'parallel lines will never meet because they are parallel' "

Mr Languagehat reponds to this:  "in current English usage, "beg the question" means 'raise the question,' and that's that."

Safire also said: "....In my book, if you mean 'raise the question' or 'pose the question,' say so; but if you mean 'that's a phony argument that turns in on itself,' say 'beg the question.'

If you agree w/ Mr Languagehat here, why are you such a stickler w/ who//whom?  I sent a letter to WSJ once asking if WSJ people stand around the water cooler in the AM asking each other questions like "Whom do you work for?"  You responded to me w/ one of your best:  "Whom doesn't?"  I certainly would agree that saying "To who it may concern" is terrible, but it seems to me 'who do you work for' is a an acceptable idiom.  Safire had words here also:  "Idioms is idioms, and I could care less."

But when it comes to comparing you to Mr Safire, you are as good as he ever was.  But he did it only  once a week, you do it five days a week.

Arn Nelson in Chicago

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