Backward(s), toward(s), forward(s)

Subject: Backward(s), toward(s), forward(s)
From: "Mark L. Levinson" <markl -at- gilian -dot- com>
To: TechWr-L <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 12:17:40 +0200

Traci writes:
I always thought backward versus backwards followed the
same rule as toward versus towards. When there is actual
physical movement, you add the "s", and when it is just in
the figurative sense, it is without the "s".

** That's a new one on me, though it does recall
the "farther/further" distinction..

American Heritage says:
Some critics have tried to discern a semantic
distinction between _toward_ and _towards_, but the
difference is entirely dialectal. _Toward_ is more
common in American English; _towards_ is the predominant
form in British English.

It defines "forwards" as "To or tending to the front;
forward," and of "backward/backwards" it says that
as adverbs "the forms are interchangeable."

Mark L. Levinson
MarkL -at- Gilian -dot- Com

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