Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bitch-slapping the educated

Language Log had a couple of interesting items recently (granted, not much different than saying "The sun rose this morning!")

One was about "begging the question", a phrase more often used these days to mean "raising the question" than what it used to mean, which was something like "assuming your conclusions" or "arguing in a circle". Anybody employing the more common usage is liable to be corrected by some pedant who wants you to know he knows the "correct" usage, but this item goes into the whole history of the item. The recommendation is just to avoid using the phrase completely to deprive pedants of their target.

The other is another rant directed at Strunk and White, which I've always enjoyed because I've been irritated myself by editors that take their mostly useless advice far more seriously than either Strunk OR White did.

No comments: