#AtoZAprilChallenge: Quibble

Pythia A quibble, from Google, is a “slight objection or criticism”. This is not to be confused with a squabble, “a noisy quarrel about something trivial”.

The verb quibble, according to Merriam-Webster, is “to evade the point of an argument by cavilling (“to raise trivial objections”) about words”.

From Wikipedia: “In terms of fiction, a quibble is a plot device, used to fulfill the exact verbal conditions of an agreement in order to avoid the intended meaning. Typically quibbles are used in legal bargains and, in fantasy, magically enforced ones.

In one of the best known examples, William Shakespeare used a quibble in The Merchant of Venice. Portia saves Antonio in a court of law by pointing out that the agreement called for a pound of flesh, but no blood, and therefore Shylock can collect only if he sheds no blood.”

Image: John Collier (1850-1934), Priestess of Delphi

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