Begs The Question


This is a commonly used expression.  But what does it mean exactly? To say that an argument or point of view “begs the question” means that the argument is assumed to be true without any evidence present to make the case.

Example:  “That car is worth nothing because it’s worthless.”

This sentence is not only redundant, there is no evidence for the argument.  The sentence in the example simply doesn’t have any substance for the reader to believe the point of view.

Example CORRECTED:  “That car is worth nothing because it has worn out brakes and it is older than me.”

Although the corrected example is still vague, there is at least supporting evidence of why the statement is correct.  Often times people think to ‘beg the question’ mean that the statement raises a question; that is not the case.

Provide evidence for any statements that you make; don’t leave your reader or listener “begging” for proof.

If you need writing or editing assistance with the very confusing English language rules, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It”!

Pamela Hilliard Owens

Pamela Hilliard Owens, M.Ed. is the founder, CEO, and Head Writer/Editor/Publisher/Marketer for three global companies headquartered at the Green Garage in Detroit, Michigan: Writing It Right For You (http://writingitrightforyou.com), Detroit Ink Publishing (http://detroitinkpublishing.com), and Your Business Your Brand Creatively (http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/services/yb2c/). She works with her husband, award-winning writer and journalist and musician, Keith A. Owens (http://keithaowens.com).
Pamela Hilliard Owens