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  •  This sums up where I was coming from (0+ / 0-)

    In Paul Elbourne’s Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics, he notes:

    This property of presuppositions, that both the original sentence and its negation entail the presupposed proposition, makes presuppositions in a sense hard to escape from. This fact lies behind the old chestnut about the lawyer who asks a defendant, ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’ … This kind of example has a long history. The Megarian school of Greek philosophy in the third century BC favoured the version ‘Have you stopped beating your father?’ The medieval philosophers toned the example down somewhat to ‘Have you stopped beating your donkey?’ But then in modern times wives supplanted donkeys. (Nowadays, in a nod to gender equality, one occasionally sees the example cited as ‘Have you stopped beating your spouse?’) As the American linguist Laurence Horn says, the history of this example ‘represents a discouraging commentary on twenty-three centuries of progress in social sensitivity.’
    I originally wrote wife, but changed it to partner because I didn't know anything about the commentor's gender or relationship.

    Instead of being too subtle about objecting to the age old trick of making blanket accusation based on a false premise, I could have kept it simple and replied, "Did you look?"

    •  Ah, that's pretty benign (1+ / 0-)
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      You were asking if he'd looked on the rec list.

      You might want to try to avoid using that phrase too casually, just to let you know. It has a negative connotation and can reflect ill on the person using it. Just a head's up.

      •  Thank you for bringing your concern (1+ / 0-)
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        mahakali overdrive

        to my attention - the phrase was only in working memory because it has been highly discussed recently.

        I hadn't thought about how it could be taken as a slur on a whole people, until you questioned why I chose that specific language.

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