A Quibble About Your Use of "Minor Quibble"



My quibble is with your use of "minor". Minor means lesser, not a minimum. If the scale of criticism can be broken into, say, quarters (major criticism being the top quarter and minor being the bottom quarter), then a minor quibble might be the criticisms that would fall between zero an 1/16 on the scale of importance. Which I think is how people use the term: it's such a small complaint it's not even a regular quibble, but a minor quibble. A large or major quibble, using this schema, would therefore be complaints from 3/16 to 1/4 on the critical importance scale.


Could we say George's killing of Lennie in Of Mice and Men is a tender murder?


3 Thanks for ruining the ending, jerk!


A) We don't have diminutives in this language (or not many), so we do what we can.

B) I would argue that shooting someone is less brutal than tearing them apart with your teeth.


Minor quibble = objection upheld.
Brutally murdered == objection overruled. Some murders are certainly brutal, others perhaps not so much. The state murders people through the death penalty, and they take pains to tell people it's not brutal. On that, I disagree -- but the Of Mice and Men example? That might hold up.

Or the song "Killing me Softly," more of a form of torture, really, but about gentle murder.


"Tender murder" is so common that we have a word for it, "euthanasia."