Further / Farther

The bottom line on “further” versus “farther” is that there is no real, logical distinction between the words in usage. There are, however, a lot of perfectly sane, intelligent people out there who believe there is a distinction to be made, and that it matters. The only practical solution for the rest of us is to speak carefully in the presence of such people, to endure their rants and frothing when they detect a violation, and simply not to worry about it the rest of the time. To invoke my favorite philosopher, Pogo, “Don’t take life so serious; it ain’t nohow permanent.”

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1 comment on this post.
  1. Warsaw Will:

    Just to add to what you have said, this distinction seems to be largely a North American preoccupation. In the UK, Fowler’s prediction seems to have largely come true, and farther is now rarely used, even for distance. As can be seen in this Ngram graph

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