Monday, February 12, 2007

Today's English lesson

From the American Heritage Book of English Usage:

As Far As I Can Tell...

The Misuse of "As Far As"

As far as the Usage Panel is concerned, as far as had better be followed by both a subject and a verb.

As far as
is sometimes used as a preposition meaning “as for” or “regarding,” especially in speech. But a large majority of the panel frowns upon this usage.

Eighty percent find the as far as construction in this sentence unacceptable:
As far as something to do on the weekend, we didn’t even have miniature golf.
Eighty-four percent reject the sentence:
The Yankees are still very much alive, as far as the divisional race.
And 89 percent object to as far as when followed by a noun clause in:
As far as how Koresh got shot, we don’t know yet.

Better to use "as for" in the place of "as far as" in these sorts of circumstances. Can you imagine Joshua in the Old Testament saying, "As far as me and my house goes, we will serve the Lord."? No, it just won't do.

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