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):
- The candidates traveled ___________ to reach the debate in Iowa.
- Donald Trump reported that he doesn’t care to discuss his views ___________ with Megan Kelly.
- Cam Newton carried the ball ____________ down the field.
- The Seven Dwarfs moved ____________ away from civilization.
- Jonathan Franzen is the author of the novel _____________ Away.
- The lawyer wanted to extend her interrogation ______________.
- 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”