Monday, July 16, 2007

JUST TO CLARIFY

I think we have covered this before. "Disinterested" means "unbiased by personal interest or advantage; not influenced by selfish motives: a disinterested decision by the referee." "Uninterested" means "having or showing no feeling of interest; indifferent."

In fairness to those of you I am yelling at here, dictionary.com has the following usage note:

Disinterested and uninterested share a confused and confusing history. Disinterested was originally used to mean “not interested, indifferent”; uninterested in its earliest use meant “impartial.” By various developmental twists, disinterested is now used in both senses. Uninterested is used mainly in the sense “not interested, indifferent.” It is occasionally used to mean “not having a personal or property interest.”Many object to the use of disinterested to mean “not interested, indifferent.” They insist that disinterested can mean only “impartial”: A disinterested observer is the best judge of behavior. However, both senses are well established in all varieties of English, and the sense intended is almost always clear from the context.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if I write, "I don't care", does that make me uninterested or disinterested?

11:18 AM  

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