BEGGING THE QUESTION….Whenever I use the phrase “begging the question” on this blog I always get at least a couple of commenters taking me to task for misusing it. I’ve always meant to reply to their complaints but have somehow never gotten around to it, which turns out to be lucky because John Holbo does it for me today ? and is then soundly thrashed in comments for his efforts. As a pretty thoroughgoing descriptivist, though, I agree with him: common usage on this one has long since changed. It’s time to give up the fight.

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