Unorganized or Disorganized

Should one say Unorganized or Disorganized?


The answer is it depends. Here are the relevant definitions from the New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998):


Disorganized not properly planned and controlled : (of a person) unable to plan one's activities efficiently.


Unorganized not organized.


Disorganized is strong and disapproving : unorganized is mild and may be neutral. Compare:


• Her desk and papers seemed unorganized (but she could find anything she needed in a moment).


• Her desk and papers were disorganized (and she could never lay her hands on what she needed).
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