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Is the use of mooted correct here? I keep thinking the author wanted bruited. Yesterday I heard an economist in the UK use it in the same way.

Coffee mooted as a breast cancer preventer.

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2 Answers

The use of "mooted" here is correct. Your example is a headline - not a real sentence.

Moot in this case means:

verb (used with object)

4. to present or introduce (any point, subject, project, etc.) for discussion.

In sentence form, the headline would include an "is":

Coffee is mooted as a breast cancer preventer.

Meaning:

Coffee is now being presented as a breast cancer preventer.

Since the example is a headline, the missing "is" can be forgiven. The headline is correct.

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Great answer @drm65, I agree. Do you think he meant that the coffee is now being presented, or that it had already been discussed...I may be confused to that very important difference in my answer below! –  Rachel Jul 15 '11 at 18:09
    
@Rachel You can read the news article yourself - just click on the link I have in my answer. I gather from it that coffee as a preventer of breast cancer was just being presented. –  Daniel Jul 15 '11 at 18:12
    
Thank you @drm65 -- I will take a look when I get a moment! –  Rachel Jul 15 '11 at 18:29
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The English usage of the word moot is:

n. Law . A hypothetical case argued by law students as an exercise.

Having studied law myself, I understand this usage most intimately.

Across the pond, the definition differs:

"The moot was the forum for solving subjects under debate and thus leads to the definition of moot as an arguable or debatable point."

Thus, it seems as though our UK speaker may have meant that the topic of coffee as a preventor of breast cancer had already been discussed.

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Please don't overuse bolding. There is a quote format that makes things a bit easier to read. –  simchona Jul 15 '11 at 18:39
    
@Rachel: Those are not the only definitions of "moot", as I hope you know. Respectfully, I'm pretty sure you're mistaken about the usage in the OP's example. –  Daniel Jul 15 '11 at 19:55
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