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← You have to “like” lots of things to fight against one big “dislike”

Dover Beach's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Dover Beach

Comment 15 by Robert Howard

Robert, I agree with you that it's a shame to lose the distinction between disinterested and uninterested but feel that, King Canute-like, you will find the tide of everyday useage against you. There is evolution in language as well as in the natural world, which is why we don't still use the language of Chaucer; and if enough people use disinterested to mean uninterested then that is what it will come to mean. After all, disinterested did originally signify uninterested.

The problem is what word to use when we mean disinterested in its sense of impartial and objective. Perhaps we will just have to learn to distinguish by context as we do with hundreds of other words. In the present case, although it might have been better had Tanya Smith used the word uninterested, it was quite clear what her meaning was.

Wed, 17 Aug 2011 12:50:27 UTC | #861825