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  1. #1
    sitifan is offline Senior Member
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    Default 'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'

    'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'
    Is the above sentence acceptable?

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: 'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'
    Is the above sentence acceptable?
    Yes, but there'd be very little use for it.

  3. #3
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: 'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'

    Point number one: Further describes a matter of degree. "If you have any further interest in this matter, please contact me." Farther describes a comparison of distance. "You live farther from the library than I do."

    Point number two: If you had drowned, you'd be dead now.

  4. #4
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    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: 'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'

    Q: If a person has drowned, can he speak?
    A: Yes, if a dead person can speak.




  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: 'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    Point number one: Further describes a matter of degree. "If you have any further interest in this matter, please contact me." Farther describes a comparison of distance. "You live farther from the library than I do."

    Point number two: If you had drowned, you'd be dead now.
    Sitifan has used "further" correctly here, even if you do want to maintain a difference with "farther". He could not swim beyond the degree that he already had.
    Even so, most dictionaries seem to give "farther" as one of the definitions of "further". (Cambridge, Macquarie, Oxford, Merriam-Webster)

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: 'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, but there'd be very little use for it.
    ... except in a rather whimsical sort of novel

    b

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    ... except in a rather whimsical sort of novel

    b
    Yes, I had something like that in mind. In fact Peter Carey's book and film Bliss was narrated partly by the hero after he died. There have been several TV series with dead characters - Someone and Hopkirk (deceased).
    Another point is that many people believe that spirits can communicate from the other side, and to them, this would be quite a normal sentence.
    So, while I personally don't believe this happens, the language still has a need to cater for the possibility for the possibility.

  8. #8
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: 'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Sitifan has used "further" correctly here, even if you do want to maintain a difference with "farther". He could not swim beyond the degree that he already had.
    Even so, most dictionaries seem to give "farther" as one of the definitions of "further". (Cambridge, Macquarie, Oxford, Merriam-Webster)
    I agree. (Out of laziness, I didn't make the point on my own. )


  9. #9
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: 'I couldn't swim any further, so I drowned.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, I had something like that in mind. In fact Peter Carey's book and film Bliss was narrated partly by the hero after he died. There have been several TV series with dead characters - Someone and Hopkirk (deceased).
    Another point is that many people believe that spirits can communicate from the other side, and to them, this would be quite a normal sentence.
    So, while I personally don't believe this happens, the language still has a need to cater for the possibility for the possibility.
    In William Golding's Pincher Martin, the hero is unaware, as are the readers, that he has in fact drowned until the end of the book.

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