This Week’s Grammar Mailbox Question:

Disinterested or Uninterested?


If you are uninterested, you are bored, unconcerned, or indifferent.

If you are disinterested, you are impartial and unbiased.

For example:

Sheila was uninterested in learning math; she preferred social studies.

Is the judge disinterested regarding this case or does she need to recuse herself?

Activity: Disinterested or Uninterested?

  1. There is no convincing evidence for this convoluted advice, ________________researchers say. (New York Times)
  2. The coach had put some thoughts on paper and gave his friend the name of a possible publisher who turned out to be _______________. (New York Times)
  3. _______________ service is a virtue ordinary human intelligence cannot grasp. (F.E. Mills)
  4. “He was dedicated to the automobile,” Mr. Joyce said, and _______________ in mass transit. (New York Times)
  5. Criticism, in this light, is neither a mode of revelation nor of _______________ judgment. (The Brooklyn Rail)
  6. Unfortunately for City Hall’s exterminators, they also seemed totally _______________ in recently laid traps baited with poison. (New Zealand Herald)
  7. The directors who consider the bid must be _______________ and not receive a benefit from the transaction, and they must be governed by an overarching duty of care owed to the association. (The Los Angeles Times)
  8. But we’re comparatively _______________ in buying health and beauty products online, despite spending 18 percent more this November. (Chicago Tribune)

Answers to last week’s challenge:

1. Our package also included photos, video, storyhistorical timeline, readers’ memories and polls. (Seattle Times)

2. The last one closed in October as the museum moves historic objects out of its west wing for a major renovation beginning early next year.  (Washington Post)

3. A private funeral for the rap legend will be held at the historic Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, just north of New York City. (Seattle Times)

4. Germans have little incentive to save, with interest rates at historic lows. (Business Week)

5. Ralph Branca, pitcher who gave up historic home run, dies at 90. (Washington Post)

6. Rutgers University Acknowledges Historical Ties to Slavery in New Report. (TIME)

7. The Ankara shooting isn’t 1914. And historical analogies can often lead us astray. (Washington Post)

8. Historic WWII PT boat heads home through streets of New Orleans. (Fox News)

9. Thanksgiving 2016 Quotes: All The Best Historic, Inspiring, And Funny Sayings to Share on Turkey Day. (The Inquistr)

10. Other blow-by-blow historical Twitter efforts have run aground. (New York Times)

11. Kugel regularly furnished historical information that other Madoff employees used to fabricate trades, the government charged. (Washington Post)