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Exercise shouldn’t be drudgery, although too often it is when we’re slogging on the treadmill or doing mindless laps in the pool. In the interest of combining exercise with an element of fun, the Los Angeles Athletic Club in downtown L.A. kicks off its “Move to a Movie” monthlong workout series that combines films with complementary themed workouts.

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-aug-30-la-heb-workout-20100830-story.html

What is the difference between "in the interest of" and "in order to"? They seem similar in their definitions. Why does the writer use "in the interest of" here?

in the interest of (something):

In order to accomplish, improve, or advance something.

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/in+the+interest+of

in order to:

For the purpose of

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/in+order+to

  • Using the definitions provided, “in the interest of” means “for the purpose of accomplishing, improving, or advancing something. Can you explain a bit more about why that doesn’t help? – ColleenV Sep 25 '19 at 12:46
  • I was thinking about the semantic difference between these two expressions. I have got a very good answer. – luxury20041985 Sep 25 '19 at 22:14
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There is a grammatical difference. "In order to" expects an infinitive verb phrase, while "in the interest of" takes a noun phrase, often formed with a gerund.

In order to lose weight, I will exercise every day. (verb phrase)

In the interest of losing weight, I will exercise every day. (noun phrase formed with gerund)

Here is another example, where a gerund is not an option and the grammatical difference is clearer:

In the interest of safety, please wear a hard hat.

In order to be safe, please wear a hard hat.


In terms of meaning, the two are almost interchangeable. The difference is subtle: "in order to" is more direct than "in the interest of."

"In order to X, Y" suggests that action Y is meant to directly accomplish goal X, perhaps in conjunction with other actions. There is a direct intent for Y to achieve X, in whole or in part.

"In the interest of X, Y" is less direct: it only means that action Y was chosen or planned with X in mind. It may not directly achieve or accomplish X, but it may be better for X than some other alternative action Z.

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