Tag Archives: SpewagE

Farther or further? Change one letter and puzzlement ensues.

I’m often confused by FARTHER and FURTHER, so I went to my fave online resource – Merriam-Webster – as a starting point. 

A quick and succinct explanation

Farther is for physical distance and further is for figurative distance.”

You can see their full explanation here – Merriam-Webster Further or Farther  

To further (haha, see what I did there?) complicate this issue, both FARTHER and FURTHER can be an adverb, adjective, or a verb, and at times can be interchangeable.  

But, I’m gonna keep it simple. I hope. 

Examples – farther – distance 

Forrest Gump ran farther than any American.  

You can stretch your arms and legs farther than the pip squeak next to you. 

You will fly farther than D. B. Cooper who just jumped off the plane with a satchel full of money. 

Examples – further – figurative 

Here I am, standing in front of Congress. I have just provided three specific instances of sedition by a certain member of Congress. But I have one more point to make. I would say, “Further, Ms. Lime-Green demonstrates…” 

You could not be further from the truth. 

She would do anything to further her agenda. 

Kudos to Grammarly

For another fabulous and reliable source, consult Grammarly Farther or Further.


*Note – This blog article was edited and proofread by Shawn MacKenzie. Any boo-boos that remain are mine. 


Filed under Editing & Proofreading, Quick Editing Tips

SpewagE – Cool Commas

Let’s continue the SpewagE series on the blog – because there is so much to talk about and unpack.

Spelling, Proofreading, Editing, Writing, Apostrophes, Grammar, and English. “SpewagE.” I capped the last E because that’s how the art came out. 

Cool Commas

Commas are so cool, so gnarly, and so groovy. But, why so confusing? 

We can talk about commas all the live-long day. There are transitional expressions, absolute phrases, commas in dates and addresses and numbers, in titles, with coordinating conjunctions, coordinate adjectives, interrogative phrases, and in series, and yikes, the list goes on and on and on. 

I had general ideas for this Cool Commas blog, but I also referred to my Strunk and White, Elements of Style and my favorite reference of all time, Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker. 

Here are a few basic examples, reflected from checking in with those two tomes and my own experience with having a Mom and Ang who constantly told me to “Look it up” and then made me look it up. 

Simple – And 

I am old, and I am beautiful.

Both underlined segments are stand alone. In other words, “I am old” is a sentence, and “I am beautiful” is a sentence. So, I add the comma before the “and.” 

I am old and beautiful.

“I am old” is a sentence, but “beautiful” cannot stand alone. So, no comma before the “and.”

Simple – But 

Same basic idea as “and” above. 

I am old, but I am feisty and politically engaged. (Both before and after the “but” are full sentences.) 

I am old but feisty and politically engaged. (Just the first part, “I am old” is a full sentence.) 

The serial or Oxford comma

I will give up my Oxford comma when you pry it from my cold, dead, and gnarled hand. 

The Oxford comma is the second comma after “dead.” 

Example of why I honor and continue to utilize the Oxford comma in a series: 

“I love my parents, James Taylor and Carly Simon.” (Indicates my parents are James Taylor and Carly Simon.)

“I love my parents, James Taylor, and Carly Simon.” (Indicates I love all three.) 

You could also change it up and write, “I love James Taylor, Carly Simon, and my parents.”

*     *     *

Do you typically wing it when it comes to comma placement, or do you have rules?  

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A dragon-sized thank you to Shawn MacKenzie who has been editing and proofreading all these SpewagE blogs since I started them September 5, 2021. Shawn is the author of The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook, Dragons for BeginnersLlewellyn’s Little Book of Dragons, and the upcoming Tarot of Dragons (about which you’ll be hearing more in the months to come), as well as numerous other fictions and essays.


Filed under Editing & Proofreading, Quick Editing Tips

SpewagE – Easy Plurals, Easy Apostrophes

Henceforth, I will share my acute and capacious superpowers foisted upon me by Mom (worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader) and Ang (who could complete the NYT Crossword in a day), and the years of research and learning stuff and “Looking Things Up.” 

I will share my experiences … Spelling, Proofreading, Editing, Writing, Apostrophes, Grammar, and English. “SpewagE.” I capped the last E because that’s how the art came out. 

Easy Plurals, Easy Apostrophes

Social Networking Yuckies

Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen more and more misuse of the apostrophe in plurals, especially on social networking posts. 

Plurals are simple (for the most part). Here are a handful:






So, if you have one cat, you can have two cats, three cats, and so on. 

If you trust a scientist, then you can also trust two scientists, three scientists (and you can trust Dr. Fauci, too!). 

Apostrophes in Plurals

Plural’s do not need apostrophe’s. (Ew!)

Wrong – Mistake’s are being made. 

Correct – Mistakes are being made. 

Plurals do not need apostrophes. (Good!)

Apostrophes in Possessives

Now, this is where you need apostrophes – in possessives. 

The cat’s whiskers

The dog’s tail 

The scientist’s research 

The doctor’s white coat

The nurse’s stethoscope

* * *

Any questions? 


Filed under Editing & Proofreading, Quick Editing Tips, Social Networking, Words & Vocabulary