hairsplitting


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Synonyms for hairsplitting

making too fine distinctions of little importance

developed in excessively fine detail

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References in periodicals archive ?
Those dissatisfied with the abstractions of Christology and with the critical hairsplitting of historical Jesus research, those wanting to explore questions relating to the dynamics of church life and spirituality, and students of Voegelin will be impressed by T.
Sometimes the church's attempts to undo years of hairsplitting with even more hairsplitting become hilarious.
It's also worth pointing out that the title character frequently functions more like an agent than a flack, a bit of hairsplitting given the show's other modest charms.
It is no discredit to Churchill's scholarship to say that his broader political writing--including the now notorious 9/11 essay that became On the Justice of Roosting Chickens--is uniformly hackneyed and filled with adolescent delight in provocation for its own sake (like his grotesque moral hairsplitting in hinting that a stockbroker is a more legitimate target for Al Qaeda than a janitor).
Edgar Hoover, The Washington Post opined, "This is no time for hairsplitting over lost liberties," Cole noted.
There is some hairsplitting and nit-picking, but for the most part, the city and the department has stood tough and said there can't be more demands,'' Miscikowski said.
This distinction between intending and accepting death is not scholarly hairsplitting.
The 5-4 decision depended on hairsplitting distinctions remarkable even for highly trained lawyers.
Accountants, because they use specific numbers and bring forth precise results, are thought to be straightforward, unlike the hairsplitting attorney and his--and increasingly her--labored legalese.
Many of the elements common to impeachment proceedings since 1797 are present in the tangled scheme of avarice and ambition that led to Blount's trial--a flawed character, abuse of power, an attempt to cover up that abuse, political partisanship, lawyers' hairsplitting arguments, and, once Congress published the details of the plot, public disinterest.
I was sensitive to the hairsplitting he was doing and the possible negative reception.
He had also engaged in stonewalling, legal hairsplitting and obstructing the courts, they said.
The FDA proposal is a futile exercise in bureaucratic hairsplitting that will do little to protect consumers from misleading claims," charges Bruce Silverglade, a spokesman for the Center for Science in the Public Interest and a frequent critic of the supplements industry.
In a two to one hairsplitting decision, the question in the Mid-Continent case was whether the parties were the same, i.