Posted by: episystechpubs | November 21, 2012

Editor’s Corner: Toward, backward, and forward

Back by popular demand! Today we have a refresher on forward/forwards, toward/towards, and backward/backwards. The most common question is: Which one of each pair is correct?

The easy answer is that in the U.S. we leave off the “s”; in Britain they include the “s.” So, I like to walk toward the duck pond, while Nigel prefers walking towards the umbrella stand. Again, both are correct. When one of these words is used as an adjective, however, the “s” must be removed. For example, “the backward child,” “forward momentum,” etc.

As a side note, I personally don’t think the general rule of American English versus British English is very consistent. When I was trying to think of an example, I realized I would say I walked “backwards” not “backward.” I think part of it just depends on what sounds right to your ear.

Now, go forth and enjoy the holiday!

Hopefully your dinner looks nothing like this:

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor


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