Stories from the fruits and nuts of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall)
Labels: Grammar Snarks
posted by McWho at 7:07 PM
A friend of mine was visiting his girlfriend's family for Thanksgiving, and they asked him to "name the turkey." Apparently this is a family tradition. This begs two questions:1. Does anyone else share this tradition?2. What do you name a turkey you're about to eat?
Dan, begging the question is a form of logical error. Doesn't apply to this case.
1. No.2. Gobbles. But now that I think about it, Gobbled.
I know that misusing "begs the question" is a pet peeve of Armen's, but I'm going to go ahead and echo his criticism. If you simply mean "raises the question" JUST SAY SO. DON'T TRY TO USE SOME 'FANCY PHRASE' THAT YOU ARE CLEARLY UNFAMILIAR WITH.
When you abstain from utilizing said phrase, please also remember NOT TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU LOOK REALLY STUPID.
It must be getting close to exam week.
1. Yes.2. Armen.Also, 9:44, I am one hundred percent sympathetic on question begging. Misuse of that phrase drives me crazy. The word "clearly," however, is just as annoying. Isn't there a saying about people in glass houses?Also, is there a peeve that isn't Armen's pet?
Wow, I just got a glimpse of how annoying I must be to everyone! Grammar policing is so cool!While we're on the subject, my pet peeve is when people use "said" when all they need is "the." So suck it, McWho!Walk me through what's wrong with "begs the question" so I can be equally obnoxious the next time someone uses it.
"In popular usage, "begging the question" is often used to mean that a statement invites another obvious question. This usage is considered to be incorrect; "raises the question" is more appropriate."--Wikipedia.See, I'm all about appealing to the masses. "Popular but incorrect" really describes most aspects of my personality. But, hey, I prefer it to "douchebag."
Aww, it's not such a big deal. But here is a previous discussion.Basically, "question begging" occurs when a person asks someone assumes the conclusion in an argument. The "question" is the issue being argued, and the "begging" occurs when the person making the argument assumes the answer to it without actually arguing for it. A literal reading of the words causes some people to use the phrase for "raises the question." The thing is that once you understand the distinction, hearing it misused will drive you batshit crazy. Welcome to the club, Dan.
Oops, here is the link to that previous discussion.
Begging the question:Me: "Mom, why doesn't our brother want to hang out with us while I'm in town for Thanksgiving?"Mom: "Because he chose not to".
I would name my turkey "Goebbels." Because then it would be fun to carve it up.
My pet peeve: "steep learning curve" as used to describe something that will take a long time or a lot of effort to learn. In mathematical actuality, a steep curve would be something easy to learn, and a more shallow curve would represent greater difficulty. Go ahead, plot it out...
4:42 -If you put effort on the y axis and amount learned on the x, don't you get the result most people mean when talking about learning curves?Seems kind of silly to say people are wrong because they put the variables in different spots.
5:37- The standard convention is to plot a dependent variable on a y axis and the independent variable on the x axis. "Degree of learning" is dependent on the independent variable "effort" or "time", thus the former is on the y axis and the latter on the x axis.Yes, one could skip the standard convention and do it the other way around. But it "seems kind of silly" to assume that people using the phrase have consciously plotted their curve in the opposite of the convention, rather than assume the fairly forthright interpretation that most people simply skip over the graphical computation and use the word "steep" as a proxy for a hard, uphill climb.I should note that there is a correct usage of the phrase: when one uses it to describe a situation where a lot needs to be learned in a short period of time. But more often than not it is used to describe something that will take a long time or a lot of effort to learn or master.
I always thought a steep learning curve means that a lot of learning happens in a short time. E.g., steep learning curves are suited to people who are quick studies.
along the lines of the "begging the question" discussion, i feel the need to say that moving down the learning curve is the good direction.
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