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  1. Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Mar 2012
    • Posts: 250

    The moot question

    On several Polish websites I've found such a sentence. It is used in an opening paragraph in an argumentative essay:

    [Ban on smoking in public places]
    The moot question is whether it has only positive sides, or if it is a negative trend.

    I'm wondering if it is correct.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    VIP Member
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

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    Re: The moot question

    The use of the word "moot" is problematic because its meaning has evolved over time to a point where the original meaning is somewhat opposite in meaning to its more current use. In the beginning, it meant arguable, debatable, open for discussion. But now it also carries the meaning of no practical significance because it has previously been decided. In your sentence, either meaning is possible.

    See more here.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    English Teacher
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      • British English
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    Re: The moot question

    In BrE, we tend to use it in "That's a moot question" or "That's a moot point". It still means debatable or arguable here.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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