October 25, 2005

Sorted and Mute

Call me a jerk, call me a snob but don't call me late for dinner. Ha ha. As I surf the web I keep seeing posts in which people talk about their sorted past and or say that the point is mute.

The words that they really want to use are: sordid and moot. The following information was pulled from Answers.com.

sor·did (sôr'dĭd) pronunciation
adj.
  1. Filthy or dirty; foul.
  2. Depressingly squalid; wretched: sordid shantytowns.
  3. Morally degraded: “The sordid details of his orgies stank under his very nostrils” (James Joyce). See synonyms at mean2.
  4. Exceedingly mercenary; grasping.

[Middle English sordide, festering, purulent, from Latin sordidus, dirty, from sordēre, to be dirty.]

moot (mūt) pronunciation
n.

  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.
tr.v., moot·ed, moot·ing, moots.
    1. To bring up as a subject for discussion or debate.
    2. To discuss or debate. See synonyms at broach1.
  1. Law. To plead or argue (a case) in a moot court.
adj.
  1. Subject to debate; arguable: a moot question.
    1. Law. Without legal significance, through having been previously decided or settled.
    2. Of no practical importance; irrelevant.

[Middle English, meeting, from Old English mōt, gemōt.]

moot'ness n.

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.


2 comments:

Mirty said...

As I sorted through my sordid past, I mutely realized that my past crimes were now moot.

Jack's Shack said...

One gold star for Mirty. ;)