So, which is it, farther or further?
This is the burning question de jour.
The dictionary definitions for both words are exactly the same.
They all provide these: at a or to a greater distance; at or to a more advinced point; to a greater extent; in addition; moreover;more distant or more remote; more extended; and last but not least, additional.
Two sisters were discussing this the other day, really, it was a heated scene. Both had their opinions, both knew they were right, and both were unwilling to budge.
So, which is right?
Most usage guides and language books insist that only farther should be used for physical distance.
You know, as in “We walked farther than we planned.”
Most people use farther and further interchangeably today as folks have done for centuries.
Both are very old words.
However, only further is used in the adverbial sense like “moreover” .
An example would be, “Further, you hurt my feelings,”
But, to confuse things, as only the English language can, it is used in the adjectival sense, such as “more extended”.
That would be when Miley’s publicist says, “No further comment.” Shortly after the news reporter said, “Further bulletins came in.”
So, just so you won’t embarrass yourself, if you walked farther today than usual, and don’t want to talk about it, you won’t have to discuss it any further.
Farther is literal, further is figurative.
Just thought you’d like to know.