Contrary to popular belief, disinterested does not mean bored or uninterested. It means impartial, or not having an interest – where the word ‘interest’ refers to a benefit or advantage. Think of ‘disinterested’ as not having a vested interest, or not having something to gain.
Here’s a thought that may help: You would expect a judge to be disinterested but not uninterested in your case.
But language evolves, you might protest – and yes; you’d be right. Pretty soon no one will remember that ‘disinterested’ once meant impartial. But now you know, and you can decide how you want to use it. I rather like the original meaning.
About this blog
Through my experience as an editor, a reader and a book reviewer, I’ve noticed that some writing faults keep just popping up again and again. As an author, I’m especially aware of those writing crimes that I’m frequently tempted to commit myself. This series of brief tips addresses the common writing problems that I’ve encountered. Following them will help make your writing clear, accurate and stylish.