Suppose two people are arguing. One says: "It is wrong for the university to cancel Professor X's speech because of his political views." The other says: "Professor X has intolerable views that mustn't be given a platform."

I was thinking, instead of arguing about Professor X, they could argue about the range of possibilities for the university's policies on speeches. The extremes in either direction. On one hand the university could allow everyone a platform (including Hitler). On the other hand, no one is allowed a platform.

So I came up with the sentence below, and I'm looking for something to replace "point on the spectrum".

We need to define the high and low ends of the spectrum and pick an agreeable point on the spectrum.

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    I think your use of "spectrum" is wrong. Don't you simply mean "range"? And the range has "end points" or "limits". – Hot Licks Aug 18 '17 at 18:49
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    Were it me I think I would omit the first "spectrum", and say "We need to define the high and low ends, and pick an agreeable point on the spectrum".There is no need to use the word twice. The second one makes clear what you are talking about. – WS2 Aug 18 '17 at 18:53
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    The range of values which disallows extremes is usually referred to notionally as the via media. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 18 '17 at 18:53
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    @HotLicks No, spectrum applies. "Opposite ends of the political spectrum" merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectrum – lux Aug 18 '17 at 18:55
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    Frequency or wavelength. You can use high pass or low pass filters to determine which frequencies are allowed through, or even go with an equalizer. – Wayfaring Stranger Aug 19 '17 at 0:03

I might use the word threshold, as in:

We need to define the high and low ends of the spectrum and agree on a threshold, beyond which Professor X should be fired.


If you're specifically referring to a point on the spectrum acceptable to both parties, you probably want the phrase happy medium.

From Dictionary.com:

happy medium

  1. a course of action or condition that is between two extremes

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