Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1677 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] English locution correction (was Re: Clinging to Microsoft (was Re: Why openSUSE is less popular than Ubuntu?)
On 12/20/2011 5:12 PM, Anders Johansson wrote:
On Tuesday 20 December 2011 16:52:43 John Andersen wrote:
On 12/20/2011 4:50 PM, Brian K. White wrote:
On 12/20/2011 6:46 PM, John Andersen wrote:
The entire issue revolves around a largely archaic use of the word "beg",
which is used almost NOWHERE in English today or for the past hundred
years other than in this SINGLE phrase "beg the question".

I beg to differ!

Well played sir.


But that's hardly a largely archaic use of the word "beg".

Actually you have it backwards, John. The "beg" in "beg to differ" is
archaic,
while the beg in "beg the question" is the standard one. It is a translation
of the latin petitio principii, where petitio is the latin word for petition
or beg.

Anders

If you look up the word Beg, it is defined as plead, solicit, ask, etc.

So Begging to differ is in keeping with the most common usage,
namely Asking, or Pleading to differ.

Its not till you get to the third definition (or later) of beg that you come
to the meaning of evade, or sidestep.

It is this usage that is limited in usage almost exclusively to
"begging the question" and constructions of similar ilk.


http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/beg
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/beg
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/beg
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/beg
http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/beg
http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/beg <--see especially the reversal in
definition 6.

All of these have the "beg the question" definition well down the list of
acceptable usage, which indicates its rarity and archaic nature.

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