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pcornell's avatar

Farther afield or further afield?

Asked by pcornell (6points) November 29th, 2006
Farther relates to distance, and further to metaphors. So what about "farther afield" which can be a metaphor which references physical distance?
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2 Answers

Evan's avatar
I think your choice of word would depend upon the usage of the phrase. "we are traveling farther afield than we have in the past", or perhaps "this type of research is moving further afield". at the same time, it's really a recent rule that the two words should be distinguished, as they have been used interchangeably by most authors since the time of middle English..
burlapmellish's avatar
"Farther" indicates distance; "further" indicates degree. If you are moving physically through a literal field, "farther." If you are straying metaphorically beyond the norm, "further." You can go far, but you can't go fur. At least not if any PETA people are nearby.

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