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Needed: what states allow appeals by prosecution after an acquittal in a criminal case? Ellsworth 21:29, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Moot Point[edit]

Can we have the term 'Moot Point' link to this?

No, because it has different meanings in different parts of the world. --Concrete Cowboy 13:16, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone have a history of the word Moot? It sounds too funny to be a proper word. Like Bonkers.

try Wiktionary at link above, just added. --Concrete Cowboy 13:16, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, added now. --Concrete Cowboy 12:10, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
'Moot' has the same etymology as 'Meet' like a "meeting". The word 'Moot' was the anglo-saxon form of the old Germanic pre-christian word for a tribal or religious assembly. Nagelfar 04:06, 6 January 2007 (UTC)


The page is a good one and a valuable addition to WP. However, I take issue with the title. The word "mootness" is a neologism that has been back-formed from the notion of a "moot point", i.e. the idea (in law) that any further action would be entirely hypothetical, and therefore irrelevant. Finally, the phrase "moot court" is commonly used and understood in U.S. (as well as British) legal jargon. The verb form "to moot an idea", while correct in U.S. English, is quite uncommon.

While the word "mootness" does occur (e.g.) in Arizonans for Official English et al. v. Arizona et al. (520 U.S. 43 (1997)) (how ironic) written by Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg, and other cases (e.g.) Hicklin v. Orbeck (437 U.S. 518 (1978)) misuse the verb form of "moot", that does not establish the correctness of the word "mootness". If we go this direction, soon we'll have "mootfull", "mootitude", and "mootilicious".

I would suggest the page be renamed "Moot (Legal Jargon)" or "Moot Case (Legal)". You can then do a #REDIRECT from "mootness" and (?) everyone will be happy. -- Gnetwerker 18:10, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. "Mootness" appears in 450+ Supreme Court opinions and thousands of circuit court opinions. 250,000+ Google hits. At some point, a new word just becomes a word. Mootness is there. Amcfreely 18:26, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Given the several-month lag time between my posting and your comments, I would say the resounding Wikipedia consensus is "don't care", which defaults to leaving it as it is. I would argue with you, however, that a word in the jargon of a field (whether legal or computing) stays jargon unless and until it enters the language more generally. I don't think "mootness" has done so, unlike blog (e.g.). -- Gnetwerker 19:15, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
All News file on lexis: 1998 hits. I disagree that a word is jargon just because it's specialized. You would never hear "polymerize" in conversation, but that doesn't make a neologism. Amcfreely 02:32, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
A neologism is not the same as jargon. Neologisms last for decades or even centuries within their specialist domain without breaking into the general lexicon. If I say "that problem is Order 'n'", that is computer science jargon, and has not broken into the general language, whereas (e.g.) "he's a black hole for information" is an example of a jargon word that crossed over. I don't know what the test one way or the other would be, but I am sure that 2000 google hits isn't it. -- Gnetwerker 05:50, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
There were 250,000 Google hits. The 1,998 hits was the number of times "mootness" had been used in published news sources in the Lexis All News database. Amcfreely 06:57, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

My Federal Courts textbook has a chapter titled "mootness". Sure, you can argue it's "jargon", but there are lots of article in this encyclopedia on jargon - e.g. creampie. BD2412 T 07:09, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I have lost track of what we are arguing about. I am no longer proposing the page be renamed. Whether the word is or is not legal jargon is probably unimportant, though my Webster's does not consider it a word at all, even a jargon one. Have a mootiful, mootilicious afternoon. -- Gnetwerker 19:18, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

What a chutzpah, Gnet. I did coin the word "mootylicious"—and you not only use it freely, but you even misspell it... --JackLumber 22:36, 11 April 2006 (UTC) Mootness is found only in Webster's 3rd (the big, fat, unabridged one), defined as "the quality or state of being moot—used of an issue, question, or case before a court."
Aaarrggh -- a Jack Attack (tm)! My most humble obeisance, I stand in awe of your most impressively big ... dictionary :-) -- Gnetwerker 00:37, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the References[edit]

This article cites several examples. The examples, are in proper legal citation form; however, they do not tell a non-lawyer how to find the material other than by referring one to another Wikipedia article, which is not in accordance with the Verifiability Policy, in particular Self-Published Sources: "Articles and posts on Wikipedia or other open wikis should never be used as third-party sources." Further, they do not stand for the proposition, but only for examples of it. Supporting a Wikipedia article is far different from supporting a legal argument and using example cases smacks of Original Research, in particular Synthesis and possibly even citing oneself. Citation to law treatises would be more appropriate for Wikipedia than citation to an example case. Further, many items have no citation whatsoever. For example:

In the U.S. federal judicial system, a moot case must be dismissed. The reason for this is that Article Three of the United States Constitution limits the jurisdiction of all federal courts to "cases and controversies". Thus, a civil action or appeal in which the court's decision will not affect the rights of the parties is beyond the power of the court to decide.

I stand by my {{unreferenced}}tag.--Doug.(talk contribs) 01:48, 5 September 2007 (UTC)