The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132499 Message #4082147
Posted By: Nigel Parsons
06-Dec-20 - 10:34 AM
Thread Name: BS: Language Pet Peeves
Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
"Beg the question" as I have heard it means that one question, or answer, immediately raises another which should (possibly) have been dealt with first.
This is the same (prime) meaning which the online Cambridge dictionary gives:
beg the question
If a statement or situation begs the question, it causes you to ask a particular question:
Spending the summer travelling around India is a great idea, but it does beg the question of how we can afford it.
To discuss the company's future begs the question of whether it has a future.
It also gives a secondary meaning:
to talk about something as if it were true, even though it may not be
So although comments about "talking about something as if it were true" may describe the situation in which someone then uses the phrase, the person using the phrase is pointing out that there is an underlying question which also needs to be answered.