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Old 11-25-2009, 10:55 AM   #121
Bêthberry
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All grammars leak, although not all grammarians and teachers like to admit the fact. So maybe it's the grammarians and teachers who leak?

It is really quite interesting to read what that bible of clear thinking and precise word choice has to say: Fowler's Modern English Usage. It would appear that usage has been muddled and only relatively latterly did the prognosticators declare a preference and even then they got the usage wrong, as applying a difference to which none of the practitioners of the language adhered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by farther, further, Modern English Usage
The history of the two words appear to be that further is a comparative of fore and should, if it were to be held to its etymology, means more advanced, and that farther is a newer variant of further, no more connected with far thant further is, but affected in its form by the fact that further , having come to be used instead of the obsolete comparative of far (farrer), seemed to need a respelling that should assimilate it to far. This is intended as a popular but roughtly correct summary of the OED's etymological account. As to the modern use of the two forms, the OED says: 'In standard English the form farther is usually preferred where the word is intended to be the comparative of far, while further is used where the notion of far is altogether absent; there is a large intermediate class of instances in which the choice between the two forms is arbitrary.'

This seems to be too strong a statement [one often loves Fowler for his iconoclasm]: a statement of what might be a useful differentiation rather than of one actually developed or even developing. The fact is surely that hardly anyone uses the two words for different ocasions; most people prefer one or the other for all purposes, and the preference of the majority is for further. [my bolding] Perhaps the most that should be said is that farther is not common except where distance is in question, and that further has gained a virual monopoly of the sense of moreover, both alone and in the compound furthermore. The three pairs of quotations following are selected for comparison from the OED stores.

1. Comparative of far: If you can bear your load no farther,say so. --H. Martineau. It was not thought safe for the ships to proceed further in the darkness. --Macaulay.

2. No notion of far: Down he sat without farther bidding. --Dickens. I now proceed to some further instances. --De Morgan.

3. Intermediate: Punishment cannot act any farther than in as far as the idea of it is present in the mind.
--Bentham. Men who pretend to believe no further than they can see. Berkeley.

On the whole, though differentiations are good in themselves, it is less likely that one will be established for farther and further than that the latter will become universal. In the verb, further has the field virtually to itself.
The first edition of Fowler was 1926; second in 1965.


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Last edited by Bêthberry; 11-25-2009 at 07:04 PM. Reason: sh! typo put to rest
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:30 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Mugwump View Post
Using further in that sense must've been merely standard idiomatic British English of Tolkien's day,]
It still is - both meself & Lal say 'further' (she's Lancastrian & I'm from Yorkshire, so I reckon its in common usage across the north of England). Mind you, here in 'God's Own County', we still commonly say 'thee', 'thine' & 'thou' (though we pronounce it 'tha')!
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:00 PM   #123
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I'm with Tollers on this one !

this makes me wonder if my subconcious grammar usage has been influenced by LoTR - probably.

So for me-


1. Comparative of far: If you can bear your load no farther,say so. --H. Martineau. It was not thought safe for the ships to proceed further in the darkness. --Macaulay.

Either would do, 'farther' sounds more antique (perhaps from Bible usage?)


2. No notion of far: Down he sat without farther bidding. --Dickens. I now proceed to some further instances. --De Morgan.

Definitely 'further' - Who the Dickens would use 'farther' here?


3. Intermediate: Punishment cannot act any farther than in as far as the idea of it is present in the mind. --Bentham. Men who pretend to believe no further than they can see. Berkeley.

Still 'further', Bentham's sentence seems out of true for me.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:16 AM   #124
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Question Nothing here?

I'm surprised that I saw nothing by you here, Legate and Thinlómien; because I feel the Prologue to be important.

It's important as a bridge between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings proper, intended to accustom the reader of the first book to the different atmosphere of the latter.

It's divided into 5 parts. The first is about hobbits in general, their origins and their history, including how they live (with its good and bad points) at the time of both stories.

The second is about the bizzare (to others) custom of the hobbits, of putting a herb into pipes and smoking it, The herb, called pipe-weed, is given enough of a description for the reader to identify it as tobacco. The reason why it's given such early prominence is that the reader will later see it cleverly used throughout the story as a symbol of hobbit identity, as something the four important hobbits miss when they don't have it, and enjoy when they do. I found this interesting; because although The Hobbit revealed that Bilbo, Gandalf and the 13 dwarves smoked pipes, no indication was given that this was originally a hobbit invention.

The third deals with the nearest the 'Shire' (the name the reader now finds out the hobbits call their country) has to 'government', again reinforcing what was told in the first part.

The fourth is an overview of what went on in The Hobbit, putting it into a wider context, suggesting that Bilbo getting the ring was no accident, and that his initial lying to Gandalf about how he did is a hint of something more serious.

The fifth is about the 'book', the first volume from which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were 'translated' by Tolkien: The Red Book of Westmarch. There is a nice background to what it is, its history, and a heightened awareness of the hobbits of the 'Shire' being part of a far wider history, in which they, formerly unimportant, played a significant part.

There are also a lot of unfamiliar names to go along with the few familiar ones. By the end of the story the reader will understand what it's all about, but not till then.

This does not mean that the reader needs to read the Prologue; but there's a lot of helpful information to prepare him or her for the following story.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:34 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faramir Jones View Post
It's divided into 5 parts. The first is about hobbits in general, their origins and their history, including how they live (with its good and bad points) at the time of both stories.
One thing that's always stood out to me is the classification of Hobbits into Harfoots, Stoors, and Fallohides.
Why do Hobbits, being fundamentally Men, have characteristics of and respective affinity for the other 'Speaking Peoples' as well? Did that contribute to their innate peaceable nature and ability to live unobtrusively amid ME's other denizens?
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