1. far from + noun.
This is a common way of expressing denial or rejection of a proposition:

• The American dream seems as far from reality as my Communist dream —Guardian, 1986.

Its function as metaphor is more strongly evident in the variant form far removed from:

• The trial will seem far removed from the red-light districts and suburbs where Sutcliffe struck —Observer, 1981.

2. (so) far from —ing.
This construction, first recorded in the 17c, is used to reject or deny one proposition and assert another. The use of so was still current in 1926, when Fowler cited the example So far from ‘running’ the Conciliation Bill, the Suffragettes only reluctantly consented to it. So is still used for emphasis, but in general use it has tended to drop out of the construction:

• Far from there being any noticeable improvement in the quality of relationships as practised among freaks, I would say there has been a distinct deterioration —Ink, 1971

• Far from wanting to hug any hoodies, he described rioting youths two years ago as ‘scum’ and wants to create a ministry of immigration and identity —Business, 2007.

3. far-flung.
This quite modern word (first recorded in 1895) calls to mind Kipling's Recessional (1897): God of our fathers, known of old, Lord of our far-flung battle-line. Fowler (1926) wrote of ‘its emotional value…as a vogue-word. The lands are distant; they are not far-flung; but what matter? Far-flung is a signal that our blood is to be stirred.’ The far-flung Empire has been replaced by less stirring concepts, but the rich flavour of the adjective remains as a reminder of past grandeur:

• We have a number of inhouse petroleum engineers to help us evaluate deals that involve assets in far-flung corners of the world —Herald (Glasgow), 2007.

4. as far as / so far as.
When used in contexts referring to physical distance, as and so were once freely interchangeable: I can take you as far as York or I can take you so far as York. In current use, as far as is used, and the option with so is obsolete. In adverbial clauses of the type as far asis concerned or as far asgoes (in which so is still an occasional variant), the verbs is (or are) concerned and goes (or go) should not be omitted:

• The old pals act will operate as far as the press is concerned —T. Heald, 1975

• As far as foreign money is concerned, Russia is safe —Sunday Telegraph, 2003

• There are always buyers of liability insurance…who punch above their weight so far as their knowledge of the subject goes —Lloyd's List, 2007.

The expression as far as I am concerned is commonly used as a kind of emotional disclaimer:

• I started out with some idea of serving the community and bunk like that, and now the community can get on with it as far as I'm concerned —J. Bingham, 1975

• To just dump 12,000 books in skips and then cart them off for recycling is completely wrong as far as I'm concerned —Bristol Evening Post, 2007.

See also in so far as.
5. general uses.
Far is regularly used before comparatives and before too + adjective:

• The people of Garston have suffered far too long from the planning blight that has caused serious deterioration in the area —Liverpool Echo, 1976

Responsibility for the abuse…does not stop with seven military guards now facing courts martial but goes far higher up the chain of command, possibly up to the Defence Secretary himselfIndependent, 2004.

It also occurs in many idioms, far and away, far be it from me, far and near, go too far, so far so good, etc., for which a large modern dictionary should be consulted.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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