Good Moves

That’s quite amusing. I wrote the comment below before I read Julian’s new Bad Moves, which also has partly to do with Prince Charles’ medical expertise compared with that of mere, you know, medical experts.

The strict dietary regime in question is the Gerson Therapy, which eschews drugs in favour of coffee enemas and fruit juices. It has the support of well-known medical experts such as Prince Charles, interior designer Dudley Poplak and Lord Baldwin of Bewdley. Their opinions, of course, carry more weight than those of the American Cancer Society, which warns that the treatment could be dangerous.

Pure coincidence, that. And then he goes on to make an excellent point about language that helps question-begging to do its thing.

Begging the question – assuming what needs to be argued for – is often a result of a careless use of language. More specifically, we often use “success” words where more neutral vocabulary is needed. For example, we say learned French when really we only studied it and never developed any real competence…The unjustified use of success words is not the same mistake as begging the question, but it is often the means by which question begging occurs.

Ain’t it though. Another example I notice a lot is saying someone realized or understood or recognized or saw something when the something in question is precisely what’s in dispute. ‘She realized that logic is a patriarchal imposition.’ Oh yeah? How do you ‘realize’ something that isn’t true, huh?

I suppose you do it by scrupulously avoiding logic because it’s a patriarchal imposition. How useful language can be!

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