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Split Hairs 1100 Words You Need Week 26 Day 1

Published on August 8th, 2020 | Last updated on August 8th, 2020 by | Category: 1100 Words You Need to Know Flashcards, English Vocabulary in Context | No Comments on Split Hairs 1100 Words You Need Week 26 Day 1 | 84 Views | Reading Time: 2 minutes

Split Hairs 1100 Words You Need

Split Hairs 1100 Words You Need

make trivial distinction, argue about unimportant details, quibble, niggle, equivocate, be pedantic, mince matters, cavil, make fine distinctions

Q. A friend of mine often uses the phrase “split hairs” to mean argue over petty details. Where does this interesting expression come from?

A. We define the phrase “split hairs” as “to make oversubtle or trivial distinctions.” As early as 1674, a writer lamented that “the great difficulty so to behave oneself, as to split a hair between them, and never offend either of them.” Back then, “split a hair” meant to divide something, as a single strand of hair, evenly so as to give an advantage to no one. To attempt to split something as small as a strand of hair evenly is not only an impossible but also a pointless endeavor. Hence, the phrase soon acquired an ironic reference to arguing over trivialities, and it began to be used disparagingly. Around 1768, an author decried the frustration of petty bickering, asserting “though we are obliged to split the hair, we need not quarter it.” To this day, we often use the phrase to convey the futility of wasting time and effort on arguing over something as trivial as how to split a hair evenly.

Source: https://www.deseret.com/

Antonym: be indifferent or carefree, be remiss or lax

Farsi: مته به خشخاش زدن، موشکافی کردن

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