Talk:benefit of the doubt

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a favourable judgement given in the absence of full evidence.

The reward of those who get there first is to have their spelling prevail, provided it is "legal". Sometimes "favor", sometimes "favour". Unless the topic is principally specific to those who favor one spelling over another, in which case their spelling preference overrides previous efforts by advocates of other spellings. DCDuring TALK 11:59, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


Etymology[edit]

Okay, this has been bothering me. Why is there the definite article "the" in this phrase? I have never heard someone refer to a specific doubt. Can anyone expand on the etymology of this phrase?

This has been bothering me as well. I just say "the benefit of doubt" when I'm using the phrase. It rolls off the tongue better than "the benefit of the doubt." 76.231.148.207 23:46, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

It's the specific doubt about the particular situation being referred to. Equinox 00:54, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Anecdote[edit]

When I skipped band class, I returned at the end of the period to tell the conductor that I had been suffering from a stomach ache. He said something like "Well, [user], next time you need to give me the benefit of the doubt"... which I didn't understand at the time. Thinking back: he wanted me to give him "the benefit" (the opportunity) to "doubt" (make the call, excuse me from class).

Cricket[edit]

I don't think the cricket definition is distinct. It's just how #1 would be applied to cricket. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:43, 21 October 2011 (UTC)