If you’ve ever wondered what well above and well below mean, as opposed to far above and far below, Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartebedian at the Los Angeles Times have quantified it for us, in an article about the California High Speed Rail project.
Rail officials also say the latest cost estimate for the entire 500-mile project has been reduced from $68 billion to $64 billion, well below the $98 billion projection from several years ago, but still far above initial estimates of less than $40 billion.
I’d always assumed that far was further than well. But no, by their math, well is $34 billion but far is as little as $24 billion. Well is further than far.
So now, anytime someone uses far or its relatives to imply extremes — “the furthest corners of the earth” etc,, you can ask: Sure, they may be the furthest, but are they the wellest?