moot » mute

Chiefly in:   a mute point

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • Bringing in the new year is another mute point with me. The new year is going to occur whether I’m asleep, watching television or at a New Year’s Eve party. (The Purcell Register)
  • The big run brought the Lancer lead to as far as 17 points before Sonora could make a bucket with 2-minutes, 14-seconds remaining in the game. Sonora’s six-point run in the final minutes proved to be a mute point. (Manteca Bulletin)
  • The smallish blond boy seemed docile at times, offering a smile and babbling conversation (he was deaf as well) one moment, and flying into a fit of rage without any notice the next. I believe he was in the 3rd grade, but since he never attended classes, it is a mute point. But he wandered the halls, keeping order, attacking other students, biting legs and smiling all the while. (link)

A less common variation of this is the [mood point](…).

[Update: 2007-09-16, CW] On the Eggcorn Forum, poster Lauralai points to the variation _moo point_ as employed in the TV series “Friends” with the following justification:

> _It’s like a cow’s opinion. It just doesn’t matter. It’s moo._

[Addendum by AMZ, 2007-10-31: And now, reported by Damien Hall on ADS-L, the verb mute: ‘A bid for the 2018 finals has been muted for some time’
near the beginning of the story ‘FA confirm World Cup bid’ on MSN Sport. (On 2007-11-6, at least some of the copies of this story have been corrected.)]

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2005/01/12 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Jake Tolbert , 2006/04/24 at 4:43 pm

    I started a podcast called The Mute Point that I’ve been horrible about updating, as a purposeful play on words. It’s a compilation of free-trade live music, that ‘hopefully won’t make you want to mute your speakers like most recordings of live music do.”

  2. 2

    Commentary by Steve Horvath , 2006/06/02 at 4:50 pm

    This is a tough one for fighting the good fight… You might be able to get away with using it first (say in a business meeting). Some will silently think you’re a dumb bell. Correct someone else for using “mute” and you’re asking for trouble, especially if it’s a superior. I once got a belly laugh out of someone for correcting him, and he did not think me a pedant, he simply thought me dumb!

  3. 3

    Commentary by Eyebrows McGee , 2006/06/22 at 12:24 pm

    This one has been around for decades; it’s been driving my dad crazy since law school (as “moot points” come up a lot in law). It’s become such a joke in our family - when one wants to point out that someone else is being a moron in a dinnertime discussion, for example, one says, “That’s a mute point” and we all crack up since dad’s been complaining about that term for nearly 30 years now - that I occassionally catch myself wanting to call a particularly stupid (and moot) argument a “mute” point in everyday life … except other people wouldn’t get it and would think I was an idiot who didn’t know the difference between “moot” and “mute.”

    Or, worse, they’d think nothing of it because they’ve already gone over to “mute”!

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