Nugget of Knowledge: Words plural only

There is a difference between further and farther

Nugget of Knowledge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – What is the difference between farther and further?

Many of us use them interchangeably, but they do mean slightly different things.

Farther refers to a physical distance. Further is figurative distance.

So we’ll ask, how much farther is it to Loboy’s house?

Then we might say we’ve heard that Loboy is the kindest, most loving and generous soul you’ll ever meet. In that case, nothing could be further from the truth.

Wait, you say Loboy is unkind and stingy? Can we discuss that further?

Why do we say a pair of pants?

It’s one single item, but we refer to it as though it were two.

Pants are what linguists call a plurale tantum. Latin for plural only.

There are plenty of things in this category, usually with the words “pair of” in front of them: pliers, glasses, scissors, tweezers and pants.

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