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I've always found it interesting that there are two substantially different interpretations of the adjective moot, most commonly found in the phrase "a moot point." One takes it as meaning 'debatable, arguable,' and the other 'academic, not worth taking seriously.' The AHD has a good summary of the history in its usage note:The adjective moot is originally a legal term going back to the 1500s.
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Phrasal type shifting

Academics / Linguistics : Language Log (last year)

David Craig points out an interesting usage in today's Frazz: "They're for just because." I discussed the process of turning phrases into modifiers in "Phrasally grateful", 10/18/2007: If you run out of conventional adjectives and a... Read Post

New transitive adjectives

Academics / Linguistics : Language Log (3 years ago)

Rodney Huddleston points out to me a remarkable development in English that seems to both of us fairly new (though of course we may be in the grip of the Recency Illusion). English adjectives generally don't take noun phrase (NP) co... Read Post

The Meaning of the Word “Moot” is Moot

Odd : mental_floss (2 years ago)

The adjective “moot” means “open to debate.” Yes, really. This is a dramatic difference from its common usage (at least in America), which basically means “not worth debating.” A famous example comes from Rick Springfield’s lyrics i... Read Post

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