Meetings and moot points


Maybe I'm just in a language-junkie mood, but this post on Mental Floss about how we got from the American use of the word "moot," meaning not worth debating, and how the rest of the world uses it to mean that the point is absolutely up for debate. But wait, there is some relevance to meetings. It includes this quote from Michael Quinion in World Wide Words:

"It comes from the same source as meet and originally had the same meaning. In England in medieval times it referred specifically to an assembly of people, in particular one that had some sort of judicial function, and was often spelled mot or mote. So you find references to the witenagemot (the assembly of the witan, the national council of Anglo-Saxon times), hundred-mote (where a hundred was an Anglo-Saxon administrative area, part of a county or shire), and many others. So something that was mooted was put up for discussion and decision at a meeting — by definition something not yet decided."

I hope you enjoyed this little-known factoid du jour as much as I did!

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