You Keep Using That Word

You Keep Using That Word

I blame my high school AP English teacher for instilling in me an insistence for the use of proper grammar and vocabulary. Because of him I am one of those assholes that will correct a your/you’re/yore or there/their/they’re post. But this post isn’t really about that. It is about the misuse of some rather important words and phrases.


I am so tired of epic used to describe something really fun or intense. That isn’t what epic means. Epic refers to a literary work – usually poetry – that is long and usually centered around the heroic deeds of the protagonist. The Illiad is an epic. The Odyssey is an epic. The Epic Of Gilgamesh even uses the word “epic” in the title.

Epic is a great word. Please don’t diminish it.

Begs the question

“Beg the question” is a translation of the Latin phrase petitio principii, In logical arguments it means that someone has made a conclusion based on a premise that lacks support. It does NOT mean “raises the question”.

Examples of begging the question:

Ghosts are real because I have had experiences with them myself.

Chocolate is delicious because it’s yummy.

I am a brilliant theologian because I have a blog.

And my personal pet peeve misused words


While similar in common use, there are subtle but important differences in those three words that make them not synonyms.

Faith means believing something without proof or evidence. The New Testament even says so:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

The New Testament tells you that faith is needed for salvation – to believe it without evidence. Is there anything we cannot believe on faith alone? Can I believe – on faith – that a passing comet will capture my soul? Can I believe and live – on faith alone – that Xenu populated the Earth with frozen beings scattered around the bases of volcanoes?

One can believe anything based on faith alone. Having faith is hardly a positive thing.

Hope is wishful thinking. It is the expression of the emotional acceptance that our desire may not come to fruition.

I hope it doesn’t rain on Saturday.

I hope my pants don’t rip.

I hope people will read, comment on, and share my blog posts.

Hope is pessimism expressed optimistically.

Trust is developed from experience and knowledge. Trust must be earned. Trust requires evidence. It is the opposite of faith/belief. Trust is knowing as confidently as one can.

I trust that the sun will rise tomorrow.

I trust that my brakes will work and bring my car to a safe stop.

I trust that my blog is secure from malicious attacks.

Knowledge + experience = Trust


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