From my friend JMike and his poker-playing friends comes this discussion of the phrase “to beg the question.”
To beg the question is to use an argument that assumes what was to
be proved. It derives from a secondary meaning of “beg,” to evade
or dodge. This time-honored and useful meaning is fast disappearing under the
prow of ignorance; currently “beg the question” is often used to
mean elicit or raise the question.
Since learning the correct meaning, I can’t hear the phrase without thinking of the time I was escorted by
security out of the Flamingo Hilton:
Me: What’s going on?
Floorman: You’re out of here.
Me: Yeah, but why?
Floorman: Why? Because get the fuck out of here, that’s why.