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Galanity's Grammar: Further vs. Farther
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Author:  EQPlayer [ Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Galanity's Grammar: Further vs. Farther

The wind a fierce blast, Mike powered his motorcycle through the turns, hearing the earplug-muted roar of the engine, all of existence throttle and brake, leaning through the unending curves. A fleeting thought wondered, how much farther does this road go?

Or how much further? Farther? Is there a difference?

Actually yes, but only a slight one. When speaking of a literal distance, use farther (it's got the word "far" in it, after all).

Further can refer to something that is in addition or continuing, which farther cannot. For example, the sentence 'Tune in tomorrow for the further adventures of Batman and Robin' doesn't make sense with farther. Are the adventures at a greater distance than before?

In most situations, the words are interchangeable. However, the English language is continually changing. Online references show a slow migration of farther to be distance-specific and further to mean 'in addition to'.

In general, unless specifically writing about distance, use further, as it has fewer restrictions than farther.

Best bet of all? Read the sentence aloud and use the one that sounds right.

Author:  Raya [ Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Galanity's Grammar: Further vs. Farther

I have to admit on occasion to being stumped by which one of these to use, as I always erroneously considered them totally interchangeable. Thanks for the clear and concise grammar picker-upper to help me discern the difference :P

Here's one for ya! What's the difference between difference and differentiation? :mrgreen:

Author:  EQPlayer [ Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Galanity's Grammar: Further vs. Farther

Raya wrote:
Here's one for ya! What's the difference between difference and differentiation? :mrgreen:


Tricky!

Difference, used to describe things that are not the same. "The difference between them is...."

Differentiation (non-math use) is what I call a meta-word. That means a word that describes another. In this case, differentiation is a noun that describes a verb, the act of differentiating.

In math, differentiation is the opposite of integration (calculus-level math). Math is fun! There are significant differences between English and math, but both are enjoyable endeavors.

Author:  Kallysti [ Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Galanity's Grammar: Further vs. Farther

Differentiation is more familiar to me as a geologic/chemical term than math, lol (I got through calculus 2 in college but it wasn't pretty!). It's when a substance cools & separates into distinctive parts (into minerals/rock types, etc), as in the Earth's crust.

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