Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

split hairs

split hairs
Meaning(s)
1) argue about or focus on the trivial aspects of something
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • let's not split hairs
  • Analysis
    When someone accuses you of 'splitting hairs' it means to spend time worrying about small details or little distinctions that don't have any importance. In a literal sense, not only would it be very difficult to actually split a hair, but it would also be a totally pointless act. This expression refers to pointlessly arguing about or focusing on trivial differences or unimportant details. 'Splitting hairs' is often associated with being petty or overly pedantic and is commonly used in both a social and professional context. A term with a similar meaning is 'to nitpick.' 

  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. Person A: "I'll give you the 5 euro I owe you tomorrow." Person B: "Sorry to split hairs, but it's actually 5.50 that you owe me."
    2. When it comes to contracts of employment, don't worry about splitting hairs. Every detail is important.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. Your argument against my proposal is frivolous and petty. You're just splitting hairs.
    2. Technically, you should have run it by me before making that concession, but let's not split hairs here - you got the deal over the line and that's all that matters.
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