I thought about her question, and then I answered her honestly (because it‘s therapy and I’d be wasting my money if I lied),“No, I like it when people tell me I’m doing a great job.”
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and understand the value of constructive criticism, but I do LOVE compliments. I love when people tell me I look cute. I love when my students tell me I am their favorite teacher. I'm even willing to delude myself into thinking that the salesperson who works on commission honestly thinks the outfit looks "amazing" on me.
So, it made my day yesterday when the man behind me in line at the coffee shop said to me, “That’s a great dress. Do you work in the fashion industry?”
Now, he may say that to all the girls, but the dress was particularly cute, so I indulged the conversation and said, “Well, kind of. I work at a fashion college, but I teach English.”
Usually, when I tell people I teach English at a fashion college, they say, “Why do fashion students need to take English?” And then I have to explain that it’s an accredited college, so the students have to take their general education classes, such as English Composition.
But, not the guy at the coffee shop with the great sense of style. He went straight into matters of English: “I’ve noticed,” he said, “that on television shows they often mix up further and farther.”
I agreed and then put in my grammar two cents, “And I’ve noticed they tend to incorrectly use lay instead of lie.”
How's that for a great start to a day? A compliment and a grammar conversation- and I still had coffee to look forward to.
So, in honor of my grammar and fashion conscious friend, and because I’ve already covered lay and lie here, allow me to present the difference between further and farther.
The difference between further and farther is not what I used to think it was: that further is simply a fancier, more sophisticated form of farther.
We use farther when referring to actual distance:
That coffee shop is farther from my house than the other one, but the compliments make up for the miles.
And we use further when referring to a greater degree:
Please expand further on what you like about my outfit.
It's pretty easy to remember because farther has the word far in it, which refers to physical distance. It also has the word father in it, and when I was little, every time we would go somewhere, I would ask my father, “How much farther?”
So, what did you think about my post? Did you really, really, really like it?