Boot Camp Basics Grammar Lesson 3: Do storms move “farther” or “further” away from the coast?

Boot Camp Basics Grammar Lesson 3: Farther or Further

Farther or Further

Journalists and meteorologists are constantly making mistakes when writing or talking about the weather. Therefore, it seems appropriate to provide a wee lesson in the proper use of “farther” and “further”–especially since meteorologists in the top markets earn salaries of over $1 million dollars a year!

Stevie Smart might address the confusion between the two words by saying the storms move off the coast. But inquiring minds want to know how to use “farther” and “further” correctly.

The answer is really simple. The first three letters of “farther” are “f-a-r.” If you are referring to distance, the answer is “farther.” The storms we have been referring to move “farther” away from the coast. Turn on your local news tonight to check if your meteorologist is using the English language correctly.

If you mean “to a great extent,” then the correct word is “further.” Here is an example: “Let’s discuss your idea further.” We could not measure the discussion–we could not discuss the idea two more feet.” (You should be laughing here.)

Try the sentences (answers follow):

  1. The candidates traveled ___________ to reach the debate in Iowa.
  2. Donald Trump reported that he doesn’t care to discuss his views ___________ with Megan Kelly.
  3. Cam Newton carried the ball ____________ down the field.
  4. The Seven Dwarfs moved ____________ away from civilization.
  5. Jonathan Franzen is the author of the novel _____________ Away.
  6. The lawyer wanted to extend her interrogation ______________.
  7. BONUS: Find this mistake from USA Today: If the storm moves further east over the Atlantic Ocean, heavy snow can fall along the coastal plain.


1. farther, 2. further, 3. farther, 4. farther, 5. Farther , 6. further, 7. “further” should be “farther”

Post your score, enjoy your day, and come back for the next Boot Camp challenge!

1 Comment

  • sarah says:

    I have read and learned from all of your Boot Camp Basics lessons. As you know my mother as well as our grandmother would love this use of the computer – to teach the proper use of their beloved English. You continue the Gerwig line of caring about words enough to use them correctly. Congratulations!!
    I love your blog and enjoy reading it.
    Know that you and your friend are in my thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks. Also you are back on my church’s prayer list, at least for awhile.
    Lots of love,

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