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Richard R. Hershberger wrote on 26 Jul 2004:
Angela formerly of Intel & Moto, Chandler, AZ wrote on ... for a Camel. C: Right. I prefer Lucky Strikes myself.

That is the usage manual rule. The present-day real English rule is that 'farther' and 'further' can both be used for literal distance, while only 'further' can be used for figurative distance. See http://www.bartleby.com/68/49/2449.html for a discussion.

That's right. But how can you trust a discussion about usage when the writer actually puts "only" where it belongs in the sentence ("But use only 'further' as a sentence adverb:") instead of writing the lowest-common-denominator English of the masses who insist that nothing matters ("But only use 'further' as a sentence adverb:"). It's obvious that the people who make these absurd usage judgments are inconsistent and untrustworthy
In real English you are safe ground if you simply restrict yourself ot 'further'.

See what kind of *** defenders of the substandard are willing to claim? Only the lowest level of expression in English is "real English". "Real English" is what the uneducated mob spoke before educational standards in America were removed to make room for the alternately intelligent. Now that so few Americans are actually taught how to read and write clearly, the substandard of yore has become the standard of today. I know that my English is not real English, so I do not expect anyone but the Lowthyest of readers to understand a thing I've said here. No problem.
If you are concerned about molifying the prescriptivists, then follow the rule Franke gave.

No, Richard. We cannot be mollified. If you are concerned about sounding like a discriminating user of English, use Garner's rule. If you want to sound like George W. Bush, say whatever everyone else says, only be sure to muck it up so that you don't sound more educated than your neighbor it's more impressive to show off your wealth than your education. Soon everyone in America will bray* instead of *speak English. That is not what Jefferson had in mind when he wrote those famous lines in the Declaration of Independence.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
Think of the word "furthermore", which applies to figurative distance.

There is no such word as "farthermore", so it's impossible to confuse "furthermore" with a non-word.
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R H Draney wrote on 26 Jul 2004:
Charles Riggs filted:

I avoid the problem by simply never using 'farther'. It ... reason though is that 'further' always works, making 'farther' superfluous.

Then there's the problem of overeager censoring software masking a word that contains "fart".. Since my neighbor Angela has started the ball rolling, I'll confess my own area of everlasting grammatical uncertainty: when do you use "forward" and when "forwards"?...r

Use 'forward' when speaking or writing AmE and 'forwards' when speaking or writing BrE. That's what Garner says, and I agree. But he also says that most AmE speakers and writers tend to use 'afterwards' and 'backwards'. Anomalous, yes, but a demonstration of how much we can trust the good sense of those who use the language.

The only rules that one must follow when using English (or any other language, FTM) is "Try to be understood the first time". This is akin to the unwritten traffic laws in places that don't enforce traffic laws until an accident occurs: "Don't cause an accident or you're screwed". The implication, of course, is that you can do anything you want on the road as long as it doesn't cause an accident. Same goes for language. Politicians live by this rule, and whenever they cause lingusitic accidents, they insist that they've been quoted out of context, just as Earl Butz did so many years ago:
'In 1976 Earl Butz, the secretary of agriculture, resigned after it was widely publicized that he had made a racist remark. Butz's statement had been: "I'll tell you what the coloreds want. It's three things: first, a tight ***; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to ***."'

http://tinyurl.com/633co
Here's another winner: http://tinyurl.com/6lb64
Cc: Earl Butz
" It isn't a New York City problem. The only endangered species in New York City is probably a free white human being." SENATOR LARRY CRAIG (R-IDAHO), CRITICIZING EAST COAST ENVIRONMENTALISTS WHO SUPPORT ENFORCING ENDANGERED-SPECIES LAWS IN THE WEST. UNDER FIRE, CRAIG LATER CLARIFIED HIS STATEMENT WHAT HE HAD REALLY MEANT TO SAY WAS, "THE ONLY PERSON THERE ISN'T A LAW PROTECTING TODAY IS THE WHITE ANGLO-SAXON HUMAN BEING."...

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
Soon everyone in America will bray* instead of *speak English. That is not what Jefferson had in mind when he wrote those famous lines in the Declaration of Independence.

"We hold these truths to be self-evidentialarised..."

Mike M
Due to a typographical error on my part, I'm re-posting ... for me to remember when to use further vs farther?

I avoid the problem by simply never using 'farther'. It isn't needed, it looks like 'father', plus it is harder to pronounce. My main reason though is that 'further' always works, making 'farther' superfluous.

Farther is about the amount of land that lies between. A in farther, a in land.

Cece
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Angela formerly of Intel & Moto, Chandler, AZ wrote on 26 Jul 2004:

snip
"Farther" is all about physical distance, so your second example ... first is incorrect. "Further" is about figurative (metaphorical) distance. Eg,

snip
That is the usage manual rule. The present-day real English rule is that 'farther' and 'further' can both be used ... you simply restrict yourself ot 'further'. If you are concerned about molifying the prescriptivists, then follow the rule Franke gave.

There's also a slight pondial aspect to this. Burchfield (1996) maintained in a remarkably long entry on these two words that "in so far as the a-forms of the adv. or the adj. are used at all, they are now more likely to occur in AmE than in BrE, though the distinction is not clear-cut. In the early part of the 20C. farther was also common in the UK but less so now". (He then goes into great detail with examples.)

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey to harvey.van)
Due to a typographical error on my part, I'm re-posting ... for me to remember when to use further vs farther?

I avoid the problem by simply never using 'farther'. It isn't needed, it looks like 'father', plus it is harder to pronounce. My main reason though is that 'further' always works, making 'farther' superfluous.

Interesting. The general guide I always recommend to learners, Michael Swan's Practical English Usage , says American English insists on 'farther' for the concrete use. Certainly, I'd otherwise have said "just forget about 'farther'": it's almost gone from British-type English.
Mike.
Richard R. Hershberger wrote on 26 Jul 2004:

If you are concerned about molifying the prescriptivists, then follow the rule Franke gave.

No, Richard. We cannot be mollified. If you are concerned about sounding like a discriminating user of English, use Garner's ... English. That is not what Jefferson had in mind when he wrote those famous lines in the Declaration of Independence.

Well, that was a remarkable series of non sequiturs. To pick just one, I always find curious the assumption that a person using the language as he learned it on his mother's knee is purposefully dumbing down. The rule that 'further' cannot be used for literal distance is not and never has been part of my idiolect. I could artificially impose it upon my language, but why bother? The only benefit would be to mollify those few people who believe this superstition. This is not even close to being worth the effort.
Richard R. Hershberger
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Dylan Nicholson wrote on 26 Jul 2004:

I don't believe it's ever incorrect to use 'further' for physical distances though.

Only in BrE, so that means you're right about Australian English.

Hmm, well I wasn't aware of that distinction, and oddly, out of the dictionaries I checked, it was only the Collins (UK) one that pointed out the different usages.
Having thought about my own usage, I would have to say that I hardly ever say "farther" at all, it's almost always "further". This may have something to do with the fact that the former is exactly homophonous with "father" in my (non-rhotic) speech.
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