MAYBE I’m just an old fogey who is resistant to the natural evolution of language, but I don’t care.

Aside from the constant misuse of prepositions, especially by sports reporters (“defeat to” instead of “defeat by”), and those who describe everything we can walk on, even concrete pavements and ploughed fields, as “the floor” instead of ground, who all get right up my nose, there is an even more annoying abuse!

When I was writing with a slate pencil at school – well, not quite that long ago, but we still had inkwells and pens that could be used as darts – the phrase “to beg a question” meant to answer one question with another.

I wonder what long-winded, would-be-pseudo-intellectual decided to substitute “beg a question” for the word ASK???

Sadly, the decision must have been infectious and has been caught by every Tom, Dick and the other chap who is pretending to be articulate.

Les Hunter