"David Littlewood" wrote in message
In article , Nostrobino
Common use makes it "correct", and indicates the language has
No. The popularity of some misusage does not automatically make it
as you seem to believe. Look in any authoritative dictionary that has
notes, and you will find misusages that have enjoyed great popularity for
many, many years and are just still as wrong as they ever were.
As with many "quotations" - for example, "gilding the lily".
I'm not familiar with the origins of that.
My current anti-favorite is "that begs the question, question inserted
here." Ever since some TV ads appeared (again and again) with a voice-over
asking, "That begs the question, Is it better to give name of product,
forgotten or to receive?" this annoying misusage has spread like the
proverbial wildfire, among commentators, columnists and others, who
evidently think it's just a classy way of saying "raises the question."
Here in the U.S. the expression "that begs the question" was almost never
seen, except occasionally in British writing. So when the average American
reader saw "that begs the question" in, say, an English novel, he had not
the foggiest idea what it meant. (Question? What question?) Now
unfortunately we see it again and again, *never* used correctly.