Is there any contextual difference between 'as far as I know' and 'as far as I can ascertain'?
closed as off-topic by user3169, Glorfindel, JavaLatte, shin, Peter Dec 5 '16 at 13:59
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Basic questions on spelling, meaning or pronunciation are off-topic as they should be answered using a dictionary. See: Policy for questions that are entirely answerable with a dictionary" – user3169, Glorfindel, JavaLatte, Peter
The difference is in the implied expenditure of effort.
"As far as I know" implies simply recalling from memory, whereas "as far as I can ascertain" implies that one has actually done some research on the question (setting aside the actual amount or the truthfulness of the material he/she pulled up).
Then again, depending on how precise the speaker is with their language, there may not be an actual difference (though anyone who uses "ascertain" is, in my opinion, more likely to actually look stuff up).