- What is the main principle/principal involved in this physics problem?
- Do you remember the principle/principal of your elementary school?
- The principle/principal mathematical principle/principal involved in calculating a tip is moving the decimal point.
- How much principle/principal will we pay off in the first year of the loan?
- What are the principle/principal parts of speech in Latin?
- How much further/farther can we drive before needing gas?
- Mars is further/farther from Earth than the moon is.
- How much further/farther can we pursue this discussion before we get into a fight?
- Can we farther/further our goals by raising the interest rate a little farther/further?
- The lake is a little farther/further away from the road than/then the playground.
Correct respondents: Kathi Reynolds, Judy Bragg, Chris Zimmel, Lisset Vega, Aimee Bosse, Ginny Supranowitz, Mindy Clark, Beth Grace, Tanya Davis, Vera Sytch, and Martha A. Phillips.
The problems the most people missed were number 6 and number 9, both involving further versus farther, and understandably so. How much further/farther can we drive can be construed as either how much more or how much longer (in time), which could justify using the word further. However, I wanted to see the answer farther, referring to the distance. In raising the interest rate further/farther, I was looking for the answer further, in the sense of more. However, a strict reading of Merriam Webster's take on these words could allow the idea of how much farther (distance upward) can we raise the interest rate.
And bunches of you still missed additional problems later in the sentences! Watch out!
Confusing Words for 400
It's hard to get possessive pronouns versus contractions correct, not because we don't know them, but because we forget to check or we make a too-hasty decision.
Here are a few that will get you if you are not careful:
- Its/It's not a forgone conclusion that your/you're going to get these right.
- Your/you're spelling checker may not correct these errors.
- Your/you're likely to forget to save your/you're file if you leave work to / too quickly.
- Whose/who's to blame if the database is not updated properly?
- Whose/who's keys are these?
- The program may crash if its/it's cache is not cleared.
- The client whose/who's form was received yesterday told us there was an error in its/it's text.
- Whose/who's on first? asked the comedian whose/who's name escapes me at the moment.