The Way Farther

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On the way we made a quick detour to Dinosaur National Monument because it was only a few miles off the highway. After leaving Dinosaur we drove the rest of the way to Vail through western Colorado. I was so surprised by how unpopulated it was until we got the Rockies and its resort towns. After the guys finished their golf match Cameron tied the series at and forced a ninth round we made the short drive to Denver. We were looking forward to staying with the Ekedahl family, who had also hosted us for part of our Colorado ski trip in Jan.

Farther vs. Further

David, a dear friend from college, and his wife Katie are wonderful human beings and very gracious hosts. Ada and Jackson also get along really well with their two daughters, Eleanor and Zoe, so it makes for a fun and easy stay. We really loved Denver when we were there in the winter and were looking forward to spending some time there in the summer.

I think we could definitely live there if we ever wanted to move west. It was nice to get to dress up a little bit , have adult conversation, and enjoy some amazing food and drinks.

David and Cameron hung out at the house with kids and played Mario Kart. That evening was the beginning of a four day back and forth Mario Kart competition between Jackson and David, which Jackson would probably say was the highlight of our time in Denver. Late Friday night Patrick Patten, another dear college friend, arrived from New Jersey and we all sat up way too late catching up.

Saturday was a day full of runs in the park, walking to lunch, the kids making chocolate, time at the pool, playing tennis, and then a relaxing dinner at the house. They had rented a bounce house for the whole day and almost everyone adults included got in some serious jump time. Zoe was beaming all day and it was a great reminder of the simple joy that comes when family and friends gather to celebrate.

Covered in glitter tattoos, we ended the day with a movie, more Mario Kart, and an impromptu family olympics. The innate competitiveness of the Farmer and Ekedahl families came out that night as we divided into teams and competed in Mario Kart, board games, a foot race, and an arm circle competition.

From start to finish, it was a great day and we were all happy and exhausted. After that, our family went to the Denver Central Market for lunch and ice cream and then Cameron and I took Ada, Jackson, and Eleanor to a climbing gym for the afternoon. We ended our last night in Denver with dinner out, more Mario Kart, and a never-ending game of Catan.

Many, many thanks to David, Katie, Eleanor, and Zoe for hosting us. We are trying to convince them to come to NC so we can return the favor.


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We got an early start on Tuesday because we had an almost nine hour drive to Kansas City. It was always an event when they came.

What is the difference?

Uncle Bobby and Aunt Kate were definitely favorites of their nieces, nephews, and the rest of the family. For anyone that knows my dad and his family, this is no surprise as family always comes first. Some of my fondest memories of my summers in Virginia Beach are of family members that would stop by, taking a seat at the kitchen table to visit with my grandparents, inevitably commenting on how much us kids had grown since they last saw us. Leanne and her family have a beautiful home in the Northland area of greater Kansas City.

Our first night there we enjoyed dinner with them and then the kids swam in their pool until after dark while Cameron and I sat and chatted with Leanne and her husband Chris, catching up as much as we could in those couple of hours. Ada and I got up early Wednesday morning to go to Jazzercise with Leanne at one of the two studios she owns in the KC area.

We had a great time, especially Ada. That afternoon Cameron and Jackson had their ninth and final golf match while Leanne took Ada and I to lunch and to see some of the highlights of downtown KC.

Definitions

Historically, these words have been interchangeable with regard to distance, but for other parts of speech there are clear favorites. Everyone, no matter how erudite and well-schooled, has occasional doubts about certain words. A quick trip to a dictionary and, presto, the problem is solved.


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There are certain exceptions; pairs of confused words which appear to have a simple distinction, but when inspected more closely will soon have you questioning whether we can ever truly say that a word means anything. You know, like further and farther. They've been mixed up for what seems forever. Is it further or is it farther?

Further vs. Farther: What's The Difference? | Merriam-Webster

The most common quick answer is usually something along the lines of " farther is for physical distance and further is for figurative distance. The problem of distinguishing between further and farther is compounded by the fact that each of these words can be an adverb, adjective, or a verb, and has multiple meanings in some of these parts of speech. Welcome to English. Further is the older of the two, with farther originating from it as a variant in Middle English. For much of their history the words have been used interchangeably.

As adverbs, they still are interchangeable when applied to distance of the spatial, temporal, and metaphorical varieties. Many usage guides will still recommend the aforementioned distinction of farther for literal distance and further for figurative, but there is enough recently published evidence of the figurative use of farther that it is difficult to say it is a mistake. But adverbial uses of further and farther are not confined to distance, and in another sense there are clearer distinctions between the words.

When using these words as adjectives there are similar degrees of overlap and distinction.


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  • He became aware that Mr. Jackson was clearing his throat preparatory to farther revelations. However, when using an adjective to refer to distance, either literal or figurative, the words are once again interchangeable although further is increasing in frequency. Finally providing use with a degree of clarity, further is the undisputed winner in the verb bloodfest you attempt to further your career by pretending to work harder than you actually do.

    We understand that people who are looking for usage guidance have a marked preference for single-sentence answers. In some cases it is not possible to distill hundreds of years of shifting usage into a few dozen words. If you come across a situation which the paragraphs above do not address, there is always the standard dodge given by usage guides when no clear answer is possible: let your ear guide you.

    Farther On - Russ Taff

    Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! A linguistic analysis of a notorious pronunciation.