If we speak against a capital vice, we should speak against its opposite; The middle between the two is the point of virtue. A point is debatable when it no longer makes sense to discuss it further, because the discussion will never lead to a solution or a clear answer. It was a contentious point to ask whether the temptations exerted upon him in his course would exceed the endurance of his nature. — Thomas Hardy, Two on a Tower, 1882 Mute rhymes with cute, while moot rhymes with boots. Moot means unimportant or not worth mentioning, while silent means completely silent. It was also the intellectual point of view and the intellectual interest in knowledge and its conclusions. This is the only point at which one sees Liszt`s sense of his own greatness; Otherwise, his manner is remarkably modest. As the meaning of the term expanded, its spelling remained undisputed for more than a century. But around 1960, the «Mute Point» variant appeared. And today, although the «silent spot» is still largely avoided in edited publications, you can still sometimes see it slipping here and there.
A broader definition? A point of contention is a fact that does not apply to the current situation. This fact may not be true for a number of reasons. For example, the information may be questionable, out of date, or of no practical value. A contentious point could also be about a question that is not very important because it is unlikely that someone will ever be able to answer it. Moot court competition dates back to England before the Norman Conquest, when it referred to a collective assembly for justice. In contrast, silent, meaning «silent» or «unable to speak,» comes from a French ancestor imported to Britain by the same cunning Normans. Therefore, the two are historically difficult to connect. To make sure you understand this phrase and use it correctly, we look at its use, origin, and some examples of contentious issues. Have you ever been in the middle of a heated discussion and needed a strong way to end the dispute while making your views known? If so, there is an expression you need to know: Moot Point. A controversial point is sometimes mispronounced as a silent point, making it a common linguistic egghorn. At first glance, moots and mute may sound like similar words, but they are pronounced differently and mean different things.
In the centuries since, the term has been steeped in skepticism and has generally been associated with points or opinions that have questionable relevance. While it once meant «to debate», today it is mostly understood as something trivial or irrelevant. You may have heard colleagues or acquaintances talk about a trivial or irrelevant point as a controversial point, or perhaps you have heard a silent point instead. Fans of the TV series Friends may have heard a third variant: Moo-dot (because, according to Joey, the opinion of a cow does not matter). But what expression is correct and what exactly does it mean? As for the Mood point, Joey may be waiting for the cows to come home for this creative currency to take hold. To borrow an old right-wing talking point, these people are angry no matter what we do. The word mute means «silent; renunciation of speech or utterance,» and the pairing silent point has no canonized meaning in standard English. However, it`s easy to see how this mistake might make sense in some contexts, and perhaps that`s why it`s so often confused with contentious points.
In a book of puns entitled Wordbirds: An Irreverent Lexicon for the 21st Century, Liesl Schillinger humorously defines a silent point as follows: «When someone in a group makes a good suggestion, but no one hears it.» Similarly, Urban Dictionary defines it as «speaking to conference call participants while your phone is muted.» Its medieval significance was continued in the name of a ritual popular in law schools: the mandatory mock trial, in which students pose as lawyers for opposing sides of a case, prepare their arguments, and then discuss their points orally as in a courtroom. A point of contention is a point, aspect or topic that is no longer relevant or can no longer be questioned or discussed. The correct sentence is debatable. A contentious point can be either a matter under discussion or a question of no practical value or significance because it is hypothetical. The latter is more common in modern American English. The term comes from British law, where it describes a hypothetical talking point used as a teaching exercise for law students. This has its roots in an ancient nominal sense of disputed: «an assembly of the people in early England exercising political, administrative and judicial powers.» Therefore, it is not possible for an F-35 calendar to record a video data link or infrared pointer at this point. A controversial issue, an issue that needs to be discussed; It is also an irrelevant, unimportant question. For example, whether Shakespeare actually wrote the poem remains a controversial point among critics, or whether the chicken or egg came first is a point of contention. This term comes from British law, where it described a talking point in a competition or gathering of law students.
In the early 1700s, it was used more freely in the modern sense. From this point of view alone, the elasticity offered by the new law is probably sufficient. Often confused by English speakers with the similar-sounding expression, a controversial point has its own history, usages and clear definition. Say what you want about Paul Gascoigne – and most people have over the years – but he remains one of the most technically gifted players in the UK. How long does a silent point last – its reservoir is weak – but where there is a will, there may be a way.—Russell Kempson, The Times (London, England), September 10, 1998 The term theoretical point is best used to describe a situation or issue that could be discussed indefinitely without ever reaching a clear solution. To say that something is contentious means that continuing the debate on the issue is a waste of time, either because there is no chance of reaching an agreement or because it does not matter. You can also use Moot Point to refer to something that is no longer relevant to the current conversation. For example, if you`re hoping to win the lottery and buy a vacation home but don`t win, the location of your vacation home is a point of contention. In this case, changing circumstances (not the lottery winning) made your choice obsolete. In the early 20th century, «Moot Point» began to mean «a subject that lacks practical significance.» This is the first and most important point where we can stop the waste of pedagogical energy that is now underway. Simply put, a point of contention is a point or statement that doesn`t matter.
In most cases, pleadings and dumbs keep their distance from each other. No law student talks about a «silent court» and no one searches for the «pleading» button on a remote control during commercials. But in a commonplace, they now exchange quite often: the «controversial point». It`s easy to see why people might confuse the two words in this phrase. If someone were to say that something is a silent point, their mistake would be understandable, since the presumed meaning – «the point is silent» – always makes sense. However, it is important to know that the right sentence is not a silent point, but a controversial one. Since the theoretical and the silent are not exchanged elsewhere, why this confusion here? Aside from their physical similarity, could it be that, as unacceptable as the «silent point» may be to purists, it`s really not totally absurd? Doesn`t the idea of a noisy debate that has fallen silent, figuratively, or a «silent» subject in its real sense seem reasonable? However, keep in mind that if you use it, people who are willing to tell you it`s wrong won`t get a mute button. But the most important point I want to make is what the press is doing now. A theoretical point can function as three different parts of speech: To better understand how the theoretical point can be used in conversations or in your writing, here are some examples of sentences that use the phrase correctly: The term «theoretical point» has been used since the mid-19th century. It was used in the nineteenth century to refer to an unresolved topic that could be debated in law school. In the early 20th century, it began to take on the related meaning of a subject that lacks practical significance – related, because the outcome of the rhetorical process will not change anything in the real world.
Although the latter meaning is relatively new, it may have become more common (at least on this side of the Atlantic) than the original. Moot comes from legal language, which is why it is often used to refer to court cases or in arguments.