The other day I got a comment from a member of the Peanut Gallery based on a recent Tip of the Day about Unsatisfied vs.
Ted in Oman (that’s next door to Saudi Arabia) writes:
“A recent example you gave reminded me of something you have touched on in the use of the correct adjective: Uninterested in comparison to Disinterested.
The referee should be disinterested in the outcome of the game he is refereeing.
In the case above, the word ‘disinterested’ is applied because the referee should be impartial or unbiased.
My son is uninterested in walking the dog and leaves it to me to do.
In this example, my son is simply not interested in walking the dog.
I have not checked any of these examples in any reference books so you may have a more accurate way of explaining the differences.”
Very good, Ted! You get an Attaboy on my whiteboard in my office.
Grammar Girl (Mignon Fogarty) agrees with you that uninterested means bored, unconcerned or indifferent, whereas disinterested means impartial or unbiased.
I hope that my disinterested yet interesting responses to questions from the Peanut Gallery keep people from becoming uninterested in my Tips of the Day.
Profound Quote of the Day:
“Books are standing counselors and preachers, always at hand, and always disinterested;
having this advantage over oral instructors that they are ready to repeat their lessons as often as we please.”
– Robert Chambers, Scottish writer, 1802-1871