Farther and further — an end to the discussion, I think

As an editor I am often challenged by authors regarding my use or interpretation of a given word in the English language. Most recently (and, somehow, repetitively) it’s been a seeming confusion between the words “farther” and “further.” I’ve been cobbling together explanations for my choice of each one in a given situation, but I ran across this short discussion in the online version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:]

Farther and further have been used more or less interchangeably throughout most of their history, but currently they are showing signs of diverging. As adverbs they continue to be used interchangeably whenever spatial, temporal, or metaphorical distance is involved. But where there is no notion of distance, further is used <our techniques can be further refined>. Further is also used as a sentence modifier <further, the workshop participants were scarcely optimistic — L. B. Mayhew>, but farther is not. A polarizing process appears to be taking place in their adjective use. Farther is taking over the meaning of distance <the farther shore> and further the meaning of addition <needed no further invitation>.”

End of discussion — it works for me.

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About Paul McNeese

Paul McNeese, BS, CFP (Ret.), is an author and an author services provider who runs his own company, OPA Author Services, through which he coordinates literary creative services and book production logistics for authors, aspiring authors, public speakers, and entrepreneurs who wish to bring their knowledge and expertise to the public through the power of words.
His first book, Salespower through Successful Seminars (1984) isout of print because it is dated and much of the material in it is obsolete, but he has begun work on another book, Betterchange: 12 Keys to Personal and Professional Growth, which will see publication in mid-2013. He has also recently completed a CD set based on the newest version of his “Betterchange” seminar, which he will soon begin offering in the Phoenix area, mainly through churches and other spiritual organizations.
Personally, Paul has more than 40 years of experience in educating and motivating individuals and groups as a broadcaster, seminar leader, author, publisher and speaker.
An honors graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, Paul earned simultaneous undergraduate degrees in marketing and music and has done graduate work in psychology, economics and public policy at UCLA. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for many years (1982 – 1993), he is a graduate of the College for Financial Planning in Denver. In pursuit of other interests over the years, he also completed a two-year associate degree curriculum in counseling at Cypress College in Los Angeles and an advanced management program in not-for-profit financial management at California State University, Fullerton.
Formerly a member of the now defunct Arizona Book Publishers Association and currently a member of many other literary organizations, he most enjoys working with authors and imaginative content producers, editing good writing, designing and supervising the design of book interiors and covers, and assembling and directing creative teams that take books from concept to cash register.
Although he does not engage in services directly related to the marketing of books, he has assembled a consortium of experts in the many disciplines required for successful book marketing, publicity and promotion, and he adheres strongly to the conviction that the best – and most necessary – marketing ingredient (beyond the literary quality of the book itself) is the author!

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