Everyone: Stop saying ‘disinterested’. You apparently don’t know what it means. It doesn’t mean ‘uninterested’.
In fact, it means you’re truly interested. ‘Disinterested’ is when you care so deeply as to want to treat the situation objectively. It is a scientific term describing the effort to rid a study of the effects of subconscious biases.
Also, please don’t say ‘substantive’ when all you mean is ‘substantial’. They’re not the same thing. Thanks. (‘Substantial’ is a good word. You’re making it feel abandoned. )
Microsoft: Fix your use of the word ‘both’.
When comparing only two files, Windows says something like “Would you like to compare both files?” As opposed to what, just compare one, all by itself? (like the sound of one hand clapping?)
The word ‘both’ is used when the default is not that of two things. It emphasizes the two-ness to show that the twoness is special, unusual. But when the default is two, you say “the two” (as in “Would you like to compare the two files?”), not ‘both’, and DEFINITELY NOT ‘the both’. (It was cute when that one famous said it once. It’s not cute anymore. Stop saying it.)
Back to ‘both’: A comparison has to involve two things, so ‘both’ (the special-case version of the word ‘two’) only makes sense if the two things are being compared to a third.
English is full of cool, meaningful nuances. I hope we stop getting rid of them.
Seriously, everyone: English is wonderful. Why are you destroying it?
PS: same with “on the one hand”… We used to say “on one hand” (which makes sense… either one, any one, not a definite hand with a definite article)