- On September 16, 2015
Humid air surging up into southern New England could help produce locally heavy rainfall and thunder. Farther west, drier air will move into the Middle Atlantic region.
So read a recent weather forecast that I paid extra attention to for its correct use of farther, which refers to physical distance. Its companion, further, refers to figurative distance, as in the following examples:
• Richard Gere’s latest film, Time Out of Mind, takes him far from his typical suave role and even further from Hollywood filmmaking.
• Public health advocates say Coca-Cola is going a step further, recruiting reputable scientists to make the case that the obesity epidemic is primarily an exercise problem.
• The worst thing that could happen is for other companies to pull back even further into the safety of their self-imposed shadows and ignore the problem.
I heard a mother implore her children to work hard, reach farther, and do great things—sound advice, but she should have said further.
And then there was my spin instructor who stood over my bike and yelled, “Weltchek, get your butt back further.” I wanted to yell back, “You mean farther!”—never mind that I could barely breathe—but then I thought, “If he can get me to move my posterior farther back, which will tighten my midsection, he can say whatever he wants.”