04 Jun Fun With Further and Farther
If you confuse these words, it isn’t as big a usage boo-boo as some. In fact, there is enough disagreement about these words that you can probably claim to be correct- or at least acceptable- in any case.
But, for the sticklers, here are some generally accepted rules:
Further is a lot busier than farther; it can serve several functions:
As a verb:
Lilac wants to further her career by taking a course in sword-swallowing.
As a synonym for moreover or additionally:
She loves the circus, and, further, she intends to join.
As a synonym for more:
After further consideration, she enrolls in the fire-eating course instead.
Note: Further is also used in this phrase: ‘without further ado’. Please do not ever say this again. It is trite. You do not want to be trite Think of something original.
To describe distance of ideas:
Job satisfaction seems to be the furthest thing on her mind.
And, less accepted, to describe measurable distance:
She is surprised that circus school is further away than she thought.
Farther is easier to manage as it has only one job: to describe distance, whether measurable:
She has farther to travel than the other circus students.
Or of ideas:
Her dreams have taken her farther from more traditional career choices.
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