Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Misused words: "Disinterested"

"Disinterested" is frequently, and wrongly, used as a synonym for "uninterested".

If you don't watch football because it has no fascination for you, you can say you are "uninterested" in it. It would be wrong to say you were "disinterested" in for that reason.

"Disinterest" is the negative of "interest" in the sense of "material interest". For example, if you do not own shares in a company you can say that you are "disinterested" in its affairs. You might, though, like to read about what the company is doing in the Financial Times, so you would not say you were "uninterested" in it.

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