Forgive me for quibbling, because I count myself as one of your many fans, but in a recent post you misused the term "begs the question." To "beg the question" is to engage in a specific type of logical fallacy; and logic is taught in the philosophy department . . . where I hang out.
In a phrase, to beg the question is to include one's conclusion in one's premise. And that wasn't what you meant to suggest; what you meant to say was that such-and-such raises the question, or that it "begs" for a particular question to be asked.
Not knowing me and, therefore, having no reason to believe my explanation, please go to any logic or philosophy site on the Net and verify it.
Misuse of this term is a pet peeve of mine, something that drives me totally bonkers, even though it's misused by countless people. I've heard Keith Olbermann make the same error; I've heard Wolf Blitzer, Susan Estrich and Mark Shields do it. In fact, the only journalist I've heard go out of his way to use it properly is Jeff Greenfield.
Again, I admire your column, and apologize if I came off like some crazy purist.
Crazy purists are the guys who have fistfights about why Sean Connery is the "only true James Bond" and why Bach can only be truly appreciated on period instruments.
Telling someone (even Miss Snark) they used a phrase incorrectly is called "editing" here at Snark Central.
Anyway, I looked it up.
And you're right, I'm wrong.
I actually thought it meant that it didn't answer the question but that's a mistake for another day.
Add this one to "dragoon", which turns out not to be a contingent but just one guy.
I'm sure there are others, and dog willing, more to come.