Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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Postby marty1499 » Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:09 pm

Is it true that 'moot' means:

1) subject to debate, arguable; e.g. a moot question

2) irrelevant; e.g. a moot question

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Postby hotshoe » Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:13 pm

#1 is more correct, Marty

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Postby Stargzer » Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:46 pm

Quick definitions (moot)

noun: a hypothetical case that law students argue as an exercise (Example: "He organized the weekly moot")
verb: think about carefully; weigh
adjective: of no legal significance (as having been previously decided)
adjective: open to argument or debate (Example: "That is a moot question")
Word origin info is available.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.


NOUN: 1. Law A hypothetical case argued by law students as an exercise. 2. An ancient English meeting, especially a representative meeting of the freemen of a shire.
TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: moot·ed, moot·ing, moots
1a. To bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. b. To discuss or debate. See synonyms at broach[sup]1[/sup]. 2. Law To plead or argue (a case) in a moot court.
ADJECTIVE: 1. Subject to debate; arguable: a moot question. 2a. Law Without legal significance, through having been previously decided or settled. b. Of no practical importance; irrelevant.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, meeting, from Old English mōt, gemōt.
OTHER FORMS: moot' ness —NOUN

USAGE NOTE: The adjective moot is originally a legal term going back to the mid-16th century. It derives from the noun moot, in its sense of a hypothetical case argued as an exercise by law students. Consequently, a moot question is one that is arguable or open to debate. But in the mid-19th century people also began to look at the hypothetical side of moot as its essential meaning, and they started to use the word to mean “of no significance or relevance.” Thus, a moot point, however debatable, is one that has no practical value. A number of critics have objected to this use, but 59 percent of the Usage Panel accepts it in the sentence The nominee himself chastised the White House for failing to do more to support him, but his concerns became moot when a number of Republicans announced that they, too, would oppose the nomination. When using moot one should be sure that the context makes clear which sense is meant.

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