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Disinterested Is to Uninterested as Indifferent Is to Uncaring

In follow up to my last blog post about words of legal significance, I am reminded of the following word: disinterested. Often that word is confused with uninterested.

To not care is to be uninterested. To be impartial is to be disinterested, not favoring either side. Obviously we want our judges and juries to be disinterested.

This is a fundamental distinction. In fact when judges impanel a jury they will say that the jurors stand indifferent. Once again, indifferent means disinterested or impartial not uninterested or uncaring.

It is not my goal to imitate a literary critic such as the retired William Safire of the New York Times. Bur precision and accuracy in legal terms is a worthwhile goal.

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