Posted by: episystechpubs | July 10, 2012

Editor’s Corner: US, Remove the “S”

By request, today’s tidbit is about backward/backwards and toward/towards. The explanation is from www.quickanddirtytips.com, courtesy of Grammar Girl:

Most references say that, like “towards,” “backwards” is standard in Britain and “backward” is standard in America. The exception is that when you are using “backward” as an adjective, as in “her grandmother’s backward ways” or “the program has backward compatibility,” then you never use the “s.” It is always “backward” as an adjective.

If you are in the U.S., you have it easier because you can just remember that it’s always “backward” without the “s.” We like shortcuts here, such as eating dinner in our cars, so you can remember that we’ve lopped off the “s.” But if you are using British English, you have to remember that it’s “backwards” as an adverb and “backward” as an adjective.

For information on further and farther, see previous postings of Editor’s Corner: https://episystechpubs.wordpress.com/. For forward/forwards/foreword, see the “F” section in Common Errors in English Usage at: http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html.


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