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www.goodeatsfanpage.com • View topic - Fermentation Nation

Fermentation Nation

Discussions of shows as they air

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Fermentation Nation

Postby reznor » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:15 am

Huge fan of the show but I just cringed when I heard Alton badly misuse the term "begs the question" - for someone who tries to be so precise about food origins and technology it's just a shame to see such an loose and incorrect use of a phrase with a specific logical meaning.

It may "raise the question", it may "make us question" but it does not "beg the question". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question
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Re: Fermentation Nation

Postby Steve » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:45 pm

Yeah, that usage pegs my bogometer, too. I almost invariably shout back at the teevee or radio "NO IT DOESN'T" when I hear it. I once caught linguist Richard Lederer using it to mean "raises the question."

However, I think it's a lost cause and usage is having its way with the meaning. Since words in any language only mean what the majority of the speakers of that language agree they mean, if the majority think that "to beg the question" means to raise it or prompt one to ask a question, then that's what it means. I suspect that if you use the phrase properly, a goodly fraction of people would scratch their heads, wondering what the heck you're talking about. And since the main purpose of language is to communicate, it's probably better to go with the linguistic flow than to resist and be unintelligible.

When you think about it, the use of "beg" in the context of to take for granted, to assume without proof, or to answer in a circular fashion (e.g., Sarah Palin) is a fairly archaic use of the word and, I suspect, is rapidly becoming the sole province of pedants and linguistic Luddites.
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Re: Fermentation Nation

Postby Zygal » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:52 pm

Alton also made a couple of mistakes when discussing wine in this episode.

He marinated the lamb in a "California Meritage" but said that any Syrah/Grenache blend would do. A Meritage, however, is a Bordeaux-style blend, usually consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and/or Malbec, never Syrah or Grenache.

He also mispronounced "Meritage"; it rhymes with "Heritage", being a neologistic mix of "Merit" and "Heritage".
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Re: Fermentation Nation

Postby okbye » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:48 pm

He pronounces a lot of things weirdly.
I don't mean to sound cold, cruel or vicious but I am so that's the way it comes out - Bill Hicks

"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.“ Homer Simpson

Charlie Brooker: "What is the most complicated thing you do in your kitchen?"
David Mitchell: "Worry about death."
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