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".

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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, lizardinlaw
This group of 42 members is led by oakling

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

Baroness Thatcher

She wasn’t ready.

She looked up at him and a surge of warmth hit her in the throat. She looked down again and saw his bags, everything he treasured packed neatly inside, sitting on the floor on either side of him. He was clutching his ticket.

She’d known it was coming. She wasn’t ready.

“I’ll call you,” he said. “As soon as I get there, I promise.” She smiled, intending to nod but couldn’t move.

A tear slid down her cheek. She wasn’t ready.

“Don’t cry, love,” he whispered, smoothing her hair with the palm of his hand. “You know I hate to see my lady cry.” He pulled her into his arms, knowing full well that she was wondering why he was leaving her, and he didn’t have an answer. He’d been offered a job – a good job – out of town, of course, and it was she who urged him to follow his heart and take it.

But she wasn’t ready.

He thought about all the other hard goodbyes that took place in that train station. Relocation. War. And those who, like him, were reluctantly breaking someone’s heart.

He held her for a long time; she silently hoped he’d change his mind. Something about the final boarding call came over the loudspeaker and she felt the blood rush from her face. He repeated his promise to call and added a second to return. He picked up his bags and turned to go; she shut her eyes and turned sideways.

Don’t turn around, she thought. The lady’s not for turning. But she turned around anyway, just in time to see him slip through the door and out of sight.

She shrunk onto the floor, her back pressed against the pillar, and sobbed uncontrollably.

She wasn’t ready.

A comma splice occurs when two independent sentences or clauses are spliced together with a comma.

Examples:

  • Wharfinger just found thirty dollars, he wants to buy a bucket of soy.
  • Everything2 is a nifty website, posting here improves my writing skills.

There is a complete clause before the comma and after the comma. There are several ways to correct comma splices:

  • Separate the clauses and make them separate sentences.
    • Wharfinger just found thirty dollars. He wants to buy a bucket of soy.
    • Everything2 is a nifty website. Posting here improves my writing skills.
  • Link the two closely related clauses with a coordinating conjunction, such as and, but, or, nor, for, so or yet.
    • Wharfinger just found thirty dollars, so he wants to buy a bucket of soy.
    • Everything2 is a nifty website, and posting here improves my writing skills.
  • Link the closely related clauses with a semicolon.
    • Wharfinger just found thirty dollars; he wants to buy a bucket of soy.
    • Everything2 is a nifty website; posting here improves my writing skills.
  • Reword the sentence to create one independent clause.
    • Wharfinger wants to buy a bucket of soy with the money he found.
    • Posting on the nifty website Everything2 helps to improve my writing skills.

Run-on Sentences

The secret to writing well is to write concisely. Everyone is guilty of padding their writing with fluff and flowery language. Run-on sentences usually appear when you're trying to shove too much information into one sentence. A fellow Everything2 member named Lith pointed out that most run-on sentences are actually comma splices without the comma.

Every sentence must have a separate idea. A well crafted sentence has one main noun and an associated verb. Modifiers for the nouns and verbs will reveal your style of writing.

Examples of Run-On Sentences:

  • I enjoy reading her nodes she writes funny stuff.
    • I posted a node about trolls they really make me angry and when I find one under a bridge I will make him write a coherent node and then I will make him post it.

Use the same suggestions for separating comma splices. Break up these sentences into complete sentences, or use coordinating conjunctions.

  • I enjoy reading her nodes. She writes funny stuff.
    • I posted a node about trolls. They really make me angry. When I find one under a bridge I will make him write a coherent node. I will then make him post it.

Suggestions for modifying this node are welcome. Please /msg Rancid_Pickle in the chatterbox if you have any suggestions. Special thanks to Wharfinger for unknowingly volunteering to buy that bucket of soy.