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May 22, 2012


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A very complex country

This one deserves some sort of spam award.

I'm sorry, but I'm a gramar snob. You say in the last paragraph "Of course, that begs the question of why D.F. divorces fell with no-fault.". You may wanto to say "That requires the question to be asked" or even "that begs asking the question" but "to beg the question" has a completely different meaning and refers to circular logic. "You could improve your health by excercising because excercise is good for your health" is an example of begging the question.

Hi, Luis! Awesome comment. Thank you!

In that spirit, two questions, if I may.

First, are you sure that "beg the question" means what you think it means? That's not the definition in the dictionary. It is true that the old usage of the term was to refer to circular reasoning, but even the New York Times has noted that they used it to mean "avoid the question" slightly over 88% of the time. http://afterdeadline.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/25/begging-the-question-again/?_r=0

After all, I want to tear my hair out when people say, "I could care less," but that begs the question of why it's wrong if the expression causes no misunderstanding and enjoys wide acceptance. And in that paragraph, my usage matches your prescription, I believe. :-)

Second, are you sure that my usage doesn't match your prescription? After all, stating "there is less divorce because there are more no-fault marriages" does in fact beg the question: it states a correlation as if that correlation explained itself, when in fact it does not. No?

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