an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections
raise trivial objectionsions
This week’s word comes courtesy of my husband, who reads in a slightly different genre than I do:
Priests were to perform all the duties possible to them; if anything lay beyond their power, the exception was not to be cavilled at.
—Plutarch’s Lives by Plutarch. Re Numa Pompilius. Barnes N Noble, 2006 ed., p. 96.
Definition from http://www.onelook.com/?w=cavilled&ls=a