hair-splitting


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hair-splitting

1. modifier Of or characterized by minute and irrelevant differences or details in an argument. There have been some hair-splitting changes to the script, but other than that, it's the same as it ever was.
2. noun The act of scrutinizing minute, irrelevant, or imperceptible differences or details. We would get a lot more done in these meetings if everyone did less hair-splitting.
References in periodicals archive ?
This story, reported in this newspaper, was snapped up by the national dailies as an example of unimaginative hair-splitting that belittled Birmingham.
This hair-splitting seems ironic to me when I remember the famous Judgment of Paris, where in a blind tasting of French and American wines by 11 judges on May 24, 1976, the Californian Chateau Montelena's 1973 Alexander Valley Chardonnay topped the white wine category, much to the anguish of Burgundy producers, who believed their Chablis was unbeatable.
During this prolonged and pivotal period for folk music, when ideological differences and terminological hair-splitting were all the rage, Silber was masterful at provoking debate.
She urged that rather than getting into self-destructive blame-gaming and hair-splitting, we should take the Democratic Governments policy statement as a starting point to form a comprehensive strategy to deal with the fallout of the events of May 2.
Debates over hair-splitting differences between cartridges I find tedious.
When I became confused over all the hair-splitting it was politely stated that the repo rate can at most be considered to be a policy signal, and that, in fact it has minimal effect on bank funding or on domestic liquidity.
If there are no delays, no obstructions, no hair-splitting, if the commission works smoothly, if we don't get interventions from different parties, if people let us alone, it is just feasible that we will meet the 9th January deadline.
When the papal visit was first pondered, Mr Powell, ever the hair-splitting historian, called on the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie - a peaceable soul who wanted no truck with Northern Irish sectarianism - for an afternoon cup of tea at Lambeth Palace.
In that critically praised article, Professor (at that time) Kagan seems more concerned with justifications for hair-splitting minutia about government control of speech, rather than focusing on how to protect the freedom of speech from government intrusion, which is the purpose of the First Amendment.
With their heads already spinning from slickest of performances by the clowns, spectators were swiftly lost in the quicksand of lawyers' lingo, spun on by hair-splitting testimony from Lord Goldsmith, Blair's Attorney General who, hours before the war started, was confronted by the British armed forces chief at Blair's office refusing to order his 10,000 men to march to the top of the hill until the realm's chief lawyer answered his question: "Would the war be legal?
The choices we make are often hair-splitting, and since we accept fewer than half of our applicants, we have to give out more bad news than good news--and that is tough on us emotionally, just as it is tough on the students.
When asked whether she thought the Democratic presidential candidates were honestly against gay marriage, Huffington says, "No[ But it's hard to say where their public hair-splitting and verbal contortions end and their private beliefs begin.
Many will dismiss that as hair-splitting, but we punters know that 80-minute results are what count.
This is legal hair-splitting that should be an affront to people who believe in some measure of rectitude and probity in charity and philanthropy," said Rick Cohen, former executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
There is such hair-splitting going on at Animal Services that it is an offense to anyone with common sense.