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MinaJane
05-06-2019, 03:05 PM
Sorry if this has already been posted somewhere...

I can't find a precise answer to this question: my story is set in the US, I use american spelling, but I'm not sure if I should use toward or towards? Among or amongst? Amid or amidst?
I couldn't find if the choice is related to UK or US english, or formal/ informal language. And if I use towards, does it mean I should use amongst, or not necessarily?

I'd appreciate it if you could help me out. Thanks :)

Coddiwomple
05-06-2019, 03:28 PM
Hi Mina!

I've read that “toward" is supposed to be the preferred American version, but I honestly had to look that up because both sound natural to me. :Shrug:

But then I found this on merriam-webster, which explains why:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/toward-towards-usage

Short answer is pick one and be consistent, and most Americans won’t even notice.

As for the others, I haven’t researched them for "proper" usage but none of those variations would stand out to me. As long as you’re consistent, of course.

Chase
05-06-2019, 07:00 PM
Most US writers I edit for go with "toward," but as Coddiwomple said, consistency rules, meaning if you go with toward, then it's backward and forward, not backwards and forwards.

I usually gently suggest changing amongst and amidst to among and amid for US writers. When in Rome . . .

Maryn
05-06-2019, 08:34 PM
Oh, boy! We're going to Rome? I happen to have a suitcase already packed.

screenscope
05-07-2019, 02:20 AM
These words are part of my mental word sound list. Whichever 'sounds' right for the job at hand is the one I use.

SmartWater, Ph.D.
05-08-2019, 08:58 PM
Among is used in American English more often while amongst is more common in UK English. Amongst has an overly formal connotation in American English. I'd stick with the former for your situation, unless you have a pretentious character, in which case, you can have him/her use it.

As the others have said, toward/towards is a matter of preference. Some sources say "toward" is prefered in the US and Canada, but I haven't checked the usage data myself. It doesn't matter as long as you're consistent.

TheListener
05-08-2019, 09:08 PM
Use either word in either pair. Just be consistent.

novicewriter
05-09-2019, 06:20 PM
Hi. What time period is your story set? If, for example, it's the eighteenth century--featuring American politicians who'd recently arrived from the U.K.--they might use more formal language, such as "amidst" and "amongst."

MinaJane
05-10-2019, 01:15 PM
Hi. What time period is your story set? If, for example, it's the eighteenth century--featuring American politicians who'd recently arrived from the U.K.--they might use more formal language, such as "amidst" and "amongst."

Hi! Thanks. It's set present day, my characters are in their 30s, so I think I'm going to stick to toward/among/amid,... It makes more sense.