A usergroup for people who like nerding over (or bitching about) linguistics, english usage, punctuation, and giving each other writing feedback. Named after "eats, shoots and leaves".


When playing a round of golf, one of the quickest ways to win or lose is to make or miss a 3 foot putt. Several misses like this can cause even Tiger Woods to snap a putter in half or toss it in the lake.

The influence of break can have on a short putt is usually determined by the type of grass on which you are putting. In America there are three usual grasses used for greens: Bermuda, Poa annua and Bent grass. I live in the South where most courses went through a period of trying Bent Grass even when the climate did not suit such grass. The reason it was tried was because Bent grass putts so smoothly. It putts so smoothly that a spike mark can throw it off line. That is why you see so many golfers wearing "soft spikes" ( a rubber spider-looking things, compared to the metal spikes still worn by most pros). When it's happy, Bent grass makes for the perfect putting surface. To make it happy requires three things; a cool climate, a lot of mist, and a constant wind flow. There's not much we can do about the climate, at least that is my political position, it likes to be moist but not drenched, so even though it would be cheaper to put in a watering system around the green, that would result in drenching, so the greens keepers' minions were tasked each scorching day with using a hose to spray the greens with a gentle mist (usually referred to as ”syringing”), and fans are often installed in protected areas in order to supply the wind flow needed. So when it came to a place like Florida where there are thousandsupon upon thousands of golf courses, two things happened.

New strains of Bermuda were invented and the Bent grass greens were removed and replaced.

These strains of Bermuda have come to be the choice for green coverings in most of the South.

The worst greens I ever putted on were Poa annua on a course overlooking San Francisco Bay. Missing 3-footers became the norm and I was pissing mad by the time the round was over. That's not fun. The joke down here is that the seeds of Poa annua will stick to your shoes and you'll ruin your nice zoysia lawn by infecting it with those seeds. It's a weed down here.

If the putt breaks from left to right and the low side of the whole is on the right your usual miss would be on the lower side, to the right. This would be called the “amateur side.” If you miss it on the high side to the left, that would be called the “Pro" side.

These two appellations probably came about from what an old guy told me one day after I missed on the amateur side. He said, "Mathematicians say that 90% of those that don't get to the hole do not go in. It is quite true that if you're on the high side, and the putt is breaking left to right, there is a possibility that it could hit a spike mark or a wind gust that would cause it to fall in." When you hit a putt too lightly and if it doesn't get much more than halfway to the hole, you run the risk of your playing partners making a remark such as, "Does your husband play?" It's very embarrassing to lose a few bucks to strangers who fail to hit it out of their own shadow half the time.

Actually, extra punctuation is a bit like swearing: if you do it too much people will get offended, and 'doing it more adds more emphasis' is only true up to a point, after which you just seem like a bit of a moron.

e.g.:

'No!' is the equivalent of 'No!'
'No!!' is the equivalent of 'No, bugger it, no!'
'No!!!' is, in the rare situations in which it's justified (bearing in mind you're talking to strangers), the equivalent of 'Fuck no!'
'No!!!!' is the equivalent of 'fuckety fuckety shit-wank no, yah cunt!'. In other words, it doesn't make you seem extra-emphatic, it just makes you seem silly.

There it was, glaring out from the middle of the page like the cadaver of a New York City cockroach lying legs-up in the middle of a bowl of freshly-whipped heavy cream. The writer had misused the word further:

The bowling ball with the teflon coating traveled further down the track than did the conventional ball.

Just to be certain, I clicked on Words and Expressions Commonly Misused, a chapter of the exquisitely informational yet sublimely brief The Elements of Style. Lo and behold, I Strunk out! "Further" wasn't there, neither was farther.

To worsen matters, Webster 1913 opined primarily, that the words "further" and "farther" were essentially interchangeable. For heaven's sake how long ago could it have been that I'd read a marvelous piece by William Safire in The New York Times Magazine which specifically pointed out that the word "further" was being misused more and more often. Had Safire been in my town at that time, I'd have literally ran miles just to visit his hotel room, shake his hand in thanks and hug him. Thank goodness Mr. Safire's location was at that time unknown to me. Suffice it to say he was farther away than I could drive to see him, much less run.

Oh, how often in business meetings do we hear "this project is just in the planning stages, the implementation phase is much further down the pike." No, no, no.

This project is just in the planning stages, the implementation phase is much farther down the pike. Further analysis of market research will be necessary before expenditures and efforts are made to take the campaign national.

Now, that's more like it.

The explanation for the difference between our beloved turn-of-the-century dictionary and modern usage was pointed out by www.hubpages.com:

Further relates to a metaphor for distance or depth. It's an unquantifiable time, degree or quantity. It also means "additional," or "more."

Farther relates to a conceivably measurable distance, a point on a finite scale, or even a hypothetically exaggerated distance:

  • Sinatra topped the charts most often; Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. next, with Perry Como farther behind, a distant fourth with only six top-ten hits.
     

  • Cars of equal make, model and accessories traveled up to one mile farther on a gallon of gasoline containing the additive "Extrol."
     

  • Jeremy's peculiarly large penis made the other Abercrombie models jealous; if he didn't wear briefs, it would hang farther than the limits of even the most generously-sized shorts.
     

I found Mr. Safire's article, "Simpsonese" in the "On Language" column of The New York Times, September 18, 1994 here. I've reprinted the relevant portion below:

"The aim of NATO's future expansion," the Clinton Administration's National Security Council staff writes in its strategy statement, "will not be to draw a new line in Europe further east, but to expand stability, democracy," etc.

Quoting this line in a recent polemic, I put a [sic] — the Latin word for "so, thus" to mean "error in the original" — after further. That's because the word for distance is farther, and the word for degree or expressing a sense of "beyond" is further. Furthermore (only say "farthermore" in the Situation Room), you can use further to mean either degree or metaphoric distance, but you should use farther only for physical distance.

UPDATE 12/19/2007: I changed the example sentence at the beginning of this writeup to a more overt example of the improper use of "further" than my original, which I concede was confusing.


maxclimb wrote: " Fowler's Modern English Usage points out that futher is 'the comparative of fore' indicating 'more advanced' and that farther is a variant of further but that the perceived connection to far leads to the notion of 'more distant'. He points out that most people use one OR the other in all cases. He concludes by stating that as a verb, further wins hands down. One of my pet bits of usage trivia as well.

hapax insists, however, that the terms are interchangeable freely, and agrees with Webster 1913.


OTHER SOURCES:

  • http://www.englishrules.com/writing/2005/farther-and-further.php

  • http://www.cjr.org/resources/lc/farther.php

  • http://journalism.about.com/od/proofreading/qt/furtherfarther.htm


Venerable members of this group:

oakling, wordnerd, Wiccanpiper, Ira, isogolem, eliserh, TenMinJoe, skybluefusion, androjen, swankivy, Andrew Aguecheek, Tiefling, princess loulou, Tato, exceptinsects, gwenllian, QuantumBeep, Segnbora-t, RPGeek, Kit, The Lush, redbaker, fuzzy and blue, Noung$, Helen4Morrissey, themanwho, Myrkabah, Footprints, Darksied, jrn, Major General Panic, squeezie, Auron, Hyphenated, Serjeant's Muse, Dimview, libertas, KilroyWasHere, shaogo, loughes, OldMiner
This group of 41 members is led by oakling