"It’s a Mute Point"

“No, I’m pretty sure it’s not a mute point. If it were a mute point you wouldn’t be saying it aloud to me right now would you?” Is what I wanted to say. I also wanted to say, “And isn’t it terrible about all those autistic children who are moot and don’t matter at all?”

Is it really that tough? C’mon people! They are two distinctly different words with different spellings, meanings, and pronunciations! And I’m not talking about people with limited education! On and on it goes. Everyday some person in a position of authority, or esteem, or which requires higher education uses one of those words incorrectly! Of course when I am interacting with these people in a professional capacity I cannot shout my frustration about their idiocy. In those situations I choose to pretend I have selective mootism. See?!!? See how stupid it looks when someone uses them oppositely?

When I become President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I am going to pass a law allowing everyone to make a Citizen’s Arrest of anyone who confuses these two words. Much like bad drivers who are ordered to attend a defensive driving class, the moot/mute people will have to go to a special class to learn the difference between these and other similar words. I only hope that when these dolts are in class they remain moot so everyone can hear what the instructor is saying.

On a marginally related point, The band Mute Math is really very good. I enjoy them immensely and highly recommend them. I wonder how their career might have turned out differently if they were Moot Math? If you looked at my high school transcript you’d see that math was a pretty mute subject for me. In fact you could say that my grades would imply that the instructors might have been moot. Or is that mute?

11 responses to “"It’s a Mute Point"

  1. you know what i would like to say to the mute point people? SHUT THE HELL UP!

    it's somewhat appropriate.

  2. dear friends, as a writer and lover of language, I, too, gave away my power countless times to the linguistically ignorant. Many a moment of my precious life. Many an hour, even a day has been ruined for me by linguistic barbarism. However, the mis-users are multiplying.
    How successful have my efforts to educating them worked so far? Hmmm.
    How many more moments of my life do I want to squander in criticism and even anger? Hmmm.
    Further reflection reveals the light, not that I always like the light. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference comes to mind.
    This has worked for me in the past. It means I have to wake up –me, not them — and realize I can't change the linguistically challenged. Accept it. Grrrrr. Accept my grrrr. Do I have the courage to change myself?
    I do. It's work, but I'm worth it.

    A couple of years later, there are still unpleasant jumps in my chest at times, but more often an inner smile. Truth is, I know what the person is trying to say. I focus on this, the connection, instead. Sometimes the distortions are just too much, I cave, and correct them. Sometimes they don't even hear me, or ignore me, or look at me like something the cat dragged in, or actually thank me (this one maybe once!).
    It's always risky — that is, I risk my serenity whenever I weaken and react. Not reacting with myself is the issue. I love myself, my moments, my ignorant converser and my serenity much more today than I used to. I understand Phil, Sarah and everyone witnessing the assault of what we hold so dear, the sacred art of communication in language, spoken and written. We can choose peace if we want to.

  3. I could care less.

  4. Sarah- yes but if you tell them to shut up they never learn.

    Conartisse- Thanks for stopping by. I agree with your point and in the instance this past week I didn't not correct the person I was speaking with because I understood what they were saying. As you may learn, I enjoy sarcasm, irony, and exaggerration to make a point.

    Thomas- And that is completely within your rights to do so, but the proper use of that phrase is “I couldn't care less.” If you say that you could care less, it implies that you have a level of caring that can be further reduced. If you say couldn't it implies that there is no care at all for this subject. And yes, I'm completely being a scorch here. I couldn't care less about your grammatical error in a blog comment.

  5. Geez I'm too scared to comment now, in case I get it wrong. 😀

    To be toally honest I have never heard anyone say 'It's a mute point” or “It's a moot point”. The first time I do, I'll think of you!

  6. I've never actually used the word 'moot'. But fortunately, I have never used 'mute' to mean 'moot' either. I do use the word 'mute' though… correctly. I guess I'm in the clear.

  7. LL- If you make an error in a comment I promise I'll remain mute.

    Dawn- Whew! You a dodged a bullet there with your mute use!

  8. This reminds me of that episode of Friends:

    Joey: It's a moo point. It's like a cow's opinion. It's nothing. It's moo.

  9. Phil, that's exactly the reaction I was looking for. I also don't like it when people say “I could care less”.

  10. I feel the same way about people who suggest I try to be more pacific.

    I mean; do I look like a man who's not pacific??

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