17
May
09

Moot v Mute

One of the things that annoys me most about most people’s butchering of language and semantics is the use of moot and  mute. It’s a moot point.

Moot point definition:A debatable question, an issue open to argument; also, an irrelevant question, a matter of no importance. For example, Whether Shakespeare actually wrote the poem remains a moot point among critics, or It’s a moot point whether the chicken or the egg came first. This term originated in British law where it described a point for discussion in a moot, or assembly, of law students. By the early 1700s it was being used more loosely in the present sense.

It is not a mute point.  That would infer that the point has the ability to speak. I’ve tried to teach my children that their ability to speak, be heard and make themselves understood is the most important thing they can master. Done well, command of language is a powerful and effective weapon. Done poorly, fumbling the skill leaves you bereft.

deprived or robbed of the possession or use of something —usually used with of<both players are instantly bereft of their poise — A. E. Wier> b: lacking something needed, wanted, or expected —used with of<the book is…completely bereft of an index — Times Literary Supplement>

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1 Response to “Moot v Mute”


  1. 1 Kerri
    June 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I just about fell out of my chair when I came across this blog. I have been subjected to ‘mute points’ by a co-worker for years. She also says that she “could care less” and “irregardless of the fact”. This is on top of taking a simple word like AHHH!!! I used to think that I could repair her, but I have given up after almost 2 years, the damage is far too deep.
    On top of all of this, she can’t pronouce Nuclear, instead it comes out new-clur. And she types the word ‘Ideal’ every time she means to say ‘idea’. Thanks!!


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