I was recently called out for using the phrase “the point is moot” incorrectly. My intent was to indicate that I felt that the point wasn’t really worth debating or discussing. I was then shown that the definition also includes “open to discussion” which left me scratching my head. While the two definitions are not strictly opposing, they do seem to go off in rather distinct yet related directions.
I am left feeling like this discussion is perhaps moot — is it best to just avoid using the word entirely? Is there a proper or accepted way to use it correctly?
A “moot” point is debatable and open for discussion but may not come to any satisfactory conclusion or whose conclusion may be meaningless.
Some examples from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
- The court ruled that the issue is now moot because the people involved in the dispute have died.
- I think they were wrong, but the point is moot. Their decision has been made and it can’t be changed now.