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further or farther...

further or farther...

further or farther...

(OP)
now, as the subject states, this question is about when to use further or farther...

this is posted in response to a thread I read elsewhere on TT...

where one poster wrote:

"...your imagination can go a bit farther than that!"

wouldn't further work better in that sentence or is it interchangeable???

just a bit confused as to the usage of both... winky smile

Ben
"If it works don't fix it! If it doesn't use a sledgehammer..."
How to ask a question, when posting them to a professional forum.
Only ask questions with yes/no answers if you want "yes" or "no"

RE: further or farther...

Quote (Link 1):

Some authorities offer differentiated meanings for farther and further, but the short answer to the question of which to use for what is that you can just take your choice.
I disagree. Such a claim simply "muddies up" the language. These are two separate words with separate usages/meanings.

Quote (Link 2):

Farther shows a relation to physical distance. If you can replace the word farther with "more miles" then you have done it correctly.

Further relates to metaphorical distance or depth. It is a time, degree, or quantity. It is also another way of saying "additional".
This person draws the proper distinction.

Link 3 asserts claims based upon statistical analysis of usage. The person seems nearly afraid to assert what is proper, and, as a result, also "muddies up the water".

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
"People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: further or farther...

Hi,
I agree completely with you Santa, the current practice of 'it does not matter' when discussing word usage is leading to a great disregard of what is correct.

There are fewer ( not less) people who actually use correct diction and precision has suffered.

profile

To Paraphrase:"The Help you get is proportional to the Help you give.."

RE: further or farther...

Hi,
Did I miss this?

Quote (Turkbear):


 great disregard of what is correct

Should I have said

great disregard for what is correct

 

profile

To Paraphrase:"The Help you get is proportional to the Help you give.."

RE: further or farther...

(OP)
Santa, and all the rest, thanks for the input...

but to link 2, they used two examples for farther that in themselves are confusing, as one does not know if distance or time is meant...

Quote:

Our car drove farther than I thought it would on one tank of gas.

I wanted to run farther, but I became too exhausted.
could mean either a few more miles or just a longer run, the distinction would be almost only be caught in the written word, but during a conversation, it may be lost (dialects, accents, etc.)...
I guess, after reading link 2, my confusion stems mostly from the fact that in some sentences it isn't known if it is the distance or the time that is meant...  

Ben
"If it works don't fix it! If it doesn't use a sledgehammer..."
How to ask a question, when posting them to a professional forum.
Only ask questions with yes/no answers if you want "yes" or "no"

RE: further or farther...

I also use farther when talking about distance and further when talking about time and amounts.  The two terms are not interchangeable.

As a listener or reader, you just have to make your best judgment based on what you know about the writer or speaker and their command of the language, and of course, context.  If I'm still not sure, or it could be either one, I lean towards farther by default.  As a speaker or writer, you can ensure that you always use the proper term.

--------------
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Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.  - Plato

RE: further or farther...

I would think of it this way:

I went farther...
It can take you further...

ponder

ACSS - SME
General Geek



RE: further or farther...

Quote (HairlesSupportMonkey):

I would think of it this way:

I went farther...
It can take you further...
If what you mean is "more distance", then farther is the correct choice. If what you mean is greater amount or quantity, the further is the correct choice. If what you mean is the man who contributed half of your chromosomes, then father is the correct choice. <grin>

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
"People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: further or farther...

I must agree with Santa, further does mean "in addition" as in furthermore; notice there is no farthermore just farther.

sam
 

RE: further or farther...

==> I went farther...
Without knowing the rest of the sentence, we can't say one way or the other whether it's the correct term.
I went farther on my bicycle than I did on foot.
I went further with my BA degree than I did with my AA degree.

==> It can take you further...
We don't know the antecedent of the pronoun 'it', so again, we can't say one way or the other.  If 'it' refers to a more fuel efficient car, then it can take you farther on a tank of gas.  If 'it' refers to a training class, then it can take you further down your career path.

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
FAQ181-2886: How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer?
Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.  - Plato

RE: further or farther...

excellent - thats what I meant and I knew I should have finished those sentences! smile

ACSS - SME
General Geek



RE: further or farther...

To my mind "farther" is an Americanism... "further" sounds fine to me in all senses of the word.

Any other Queen's English speakers agree?

Annihilannic
tgmlify - code syntax highlighting for your tek-tips posts

RE: further or farther...

Yes, Annihilannic, I've always liked to go fur on a gallon of petrol. <grin>

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
"People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: further or farther...

Well, kind sirs, to further the conversation; If it is  good enough for Thomas Hardy ...

Quote (from Return of the native):


'It is not that girl of Blooms-End, who has been talked about more
or less lately? If so, I know her; and I can guess what has happened.'
''Tis no matter... Now, sir, I am sorry to say that we shall soon
have to part company. My ponies are tired, and I have further to go,
and I am going to rest them under this bank for an hour.'
... T'is good enough for me.

Chris.

Indifference will be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?
Time flies like an arrow, however, fruit flies like a banana.
Webmaster Forum

RE: further or farther...

The OED lists both further and farther, and their definitions seem to me to be pretty much identical, with the exception that further is also listed as a noun (as an archaic synonym for furtherance), whereas farther is not.

Personally I only tend to use farther when specifically talking about distance, and then only adjectivally - "Edinburgh is farther north than London".  Although I suppose I might use farther as an adverb (though I can't think of any examples) I would be more likely to use further (even when relating to distance) and I would never use farther as a verb.

However, whilst the above may be common usage (or perhaps my own peculiarity) the OED (which I assume we agree is the nearest thing to an ultimate authority on the subject) says that such restrictions are permissible, but not required.

Tony

RE: further or farther...

Quote (Tony):

Personally I only tend to use farther when specifically talking about distance...
...which is exactly when one should use farther.

Quote (Tony):

I suppose I might use farther as an adverb (though I can't think of any examples)
As an example of using farther as an adverb, how about, "I walked farther along the beach looking for washed-up grammarians." <grin>

Quote (Tony):

...the OED (which I assume we agree is the nearest thing to an ultimate authority on the subject)...
Those of us who are côté gauche de l'Atlantique consider OED to be the "ultimate authority" on subjects for those from côté droit de l'Atlantique. We "left-siders" use OED when Merriam-Webster has nothing to say on a topic. <smile>

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
"People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: further or farther...

Quote:


As an example of using farther as an adverb, how about, "I walked farther along the beach looking for washed-up grammarians." <grin>

Sorry Santa, I was unclear.  I meant I struggled to think of any examples where I would use farther adverbially.  Though, after the excesses of Christmas, I'm certainly feeling a bit washed up.

Re OED - really?  I'd simply assumed that everybody took it as the ultimate authority.  

However, even M-W seems to think that farther and further are interchangeable, although they say that the usage you described is becoming  the norm.

Quote:


From M-W online
Farther and further have been used more or less interchangeably throughout most of their history, but currently they are showing signs of diverging. As adverbs they continue to be used interchangeably whenever spatial, temporal, or metaphorical distance is involved. But where there is no notion of distance, further is used <our techniques can be further refined>. Further is also used as a sentence modifier <further, the workshop participants were scarcely optimistic — L. B. Mayhew>, but farther is not. A polarizing process appears to be taking place in their adjective use. Farther is taking over the meaning of distance <the farther shore> and further the meaning of addition <needed no further invitation>.

Note the subtle difference from the usage suggested earlier in the thread - M-W says farther applies in cases where "spatial, temporal, or metaphorical distance is involved", not simply spatial distance.  So, in the case of "I drove farther", it does not matter whether this refers to distance or time.  According to M-W, farther is acceptable in both cases.

Tony

RE: further or farther...

"farther" as a superlative of "far" would apply more where distance (metaphorical, temporal or physical) where "further" is used as a synonym of "extra" or "extend".  as in - to further/extend one's career or  no further/extra explanation was needed.

Even when used as an expression or comparitive of distance it is still used as a synonym, as in: "A little futher along the road". Where "further" replaces two words, to wit: "extra" &  "distance", also in that example "further" and "farther" are interchangeable.

Chris.

Indifference will be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?
Time flies like an arrow, however, fruit flies like a banana.
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