English language Uncategorized

A mute point

Q: My boss once said something was a mute point because it was no longer relevant. Would you correct her if she were your boss? I don’t want to insult her, but I don’t want her to look bad either.

A: I’ve bitten my tongue more times than I can remember. If I were you, I’d remain mute, unless the boss asked my opinion (or, for example, asked me to correct a letter or other document).

You don’t get to be the boss (at least not always) because you use good English. When you’re the boss, you can correct people. Till then, bite your tongue.

By the way, the history of the word “moot” is more complicated than many people think. For more, see the “moot point” entry on The Grammarphobia Blog.

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