View Full Version : Toward/Towards

07-29-2006, 10:32 PM
So, I searched this forum but didn't come across the toward/towards issue.

From what I understand, although this doesn't always echo what's in print, is that toward is American and towards is British.

What's the skinny for future reference?

07-29-2006, 10:39 PM
We did discuss it once. Maybe that thread sank to the sea floor the last time the Cooler hit an iceberg.

"'Toward' is American and 'towards' is British" sums it up.

07-29-2006, 11:22 PM
Sorry to dredge it up again. I promise I did do a search :)

07-30-2006, 12:12 AM
Burn him!

Silver King
07-31-2006, 03:26 AM
I remember that lost thread. If I'm not mistaken, the same applies to upward and downward and backward and forward.

07-31-2006, 04:27 PM
Hmm that is funny- Whenever I type in word perfect it keeps wanting to change all my towards to toward, now I understand why. I'm american but I think toward sounds funny, do I have to use it? It really bugs me.

07-31-2006, 05:04 PM
For what it's worth, both my American dictionary (Webster's Seventh New Collegiate) and the OED online list both "toward" and "towards," without attributing either one as "chiefly Brit." or "chiefly N. Amer." And according to the OED, both have been in usage since at least the 800s.

So one or the other might be more commonly used in British or American English, but both are allowable. If your editor has a preference, she or he will let you know--otherwise, use whichever sounds right to you.

08-01-2006, 02:31 AM
I've always used toward and towards interchangeably with my choice being whichever sounded best in the sentence.

08-01-2006, 03:13 AM
Well, for the most part, books produced in America will stick with toward and books produced in Britain will stick with towards, but this is not always true.

08-01-2006, 05:20 AM
So, the ultimate question is - does an agent care?

Silver King
08-01-2006, 06:59 AM
I'm not sure what agents think, and actually, I have no idea how their minds work. The consensus seems to be that both forms are correct. Pick one or the other and stay consistent throughout your work.

Almost always, I write it with the "es." That's the way it sounds to me, and that's the way I write it. But after the first edit, I take out all those "eses."

Don't take my word for it, though. Some agent may come along and tell you he likes it both ways.