Inspired? Sort of.

Each day at work, I eat lunch. Or I snack, one of the two. Sometimes both. We have two break rooms at work: the general break room, and the quiet break room. Although the latter is often cooler in temperature and vacant, it’s where I prefer to eat my food and mull over plot details of my short stories or mentally revise my screenplay. This wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy if not for a curious poster on the wall.

When I sit near this poster and read it, I want to smash the glass and twist its metal frame into a pretzel. No, I have nothing against pretzels. They’re pretty tasty. But I do take issue with the stupidity of the poster’s message. Most of all, I take issue with the message’s glaring grammatical error:

“Many people have gone further than they imagined they could because someone else thought they could.”

Did you catch it? Did you catch the mistake? Unless you’re a grammar nut, you probably missed it. “Further.” This is a tricky word because it sounds right, but only to the untrained ear. The correct word is “farther” in this case. Why? Do a simple test. He went far, she went farther, but I went farthest. “Far” is a gradable adjective, meaning it has levels of intensity (but it’s not what grammarians consider an “intensifier”).

Perform the same test with “further.” He went fur, she went further, but I went furthest. Fur? That’s obviously not right.

So when is further appropriate?

Correct examples:

  • His father said, “Further your education.”
  • The further adventures of Superman!
  • Further depressed, Hank overdosed on Jell-O shots.


This is the largest version I could find.

The highest-res version I could find.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so picky, but I stare at this “inspirational” poster almost every day. Even if it were grammatically sound, the message is pure hogwash!

By sheer force of thought, I can cause someone to go “further” than they imagined possible? Further in what, life? Their career? On their hang glider? One can only wonder. Perhaps more worrisome: how is that sentiment a suitable blurb for “inspire”?

Used here, inspire is a command. Go forth and inspire others with your positive thoughts! That’s what it implies, but is that its intention? Who knows. Who cares? I do, evidently.

I can give this poster one compliment: it inspired me to write this blog.

Related Posts

Discussion about this post

  1. Puneet says:

    Rightly caught! It was funny.

Say something', will ya!

Latest Stories

turkey sandwich

The Sunday Morning Sandwich

Kamiko Review (Nintendo Switch)

Getting the New 2DS XL

Shin Godzilla (Godzilla Resurgence)

Hand Lettering Psalm 3:8

Farewell, Kevin

Search stories by typing keyword and hit enter to begin searching.

%d bloggers like this: