Farther Under Further Review

So I’m either obsessed with linguistic pedantry or else I’m just a stickler. Either way, post-Wicked last night Jenn and I had yet another discussion on words and their meanings and usages.

Up for grabs in last night’s winner-gets-nothing roundtable: Further and Farther

At first glance, the two seem pretty interchangeable. We easily talked ourselves in circles, weakening our vowels until the two words sounded virtually identical.

Here was our final agreement:

  • Farther: used in denoting a difference in distance between two concrete objects
  • Think Grover and his “Neeee-ar….. Far” comparisons or something declarative like “Chicago is farther from Miami than Atlanta.”

  • Further: a comparative for ideas and not objects
  • Upon further review
    Nothing could be further from the truth

I’ll admit to not using the internet as crutch until …. just now.

Here’s how we scored: PERFECT!

Well, mostly perfect. My word choice is a bit sketchy and I’m no Webster (so, clearly, I need both a dictionary AND a thesaurus for Christmas), but my internal barometer for the usage was spot-on.

Word nerds, FTW!

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