mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
The matter of onward and onwards Options
shahidmost
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 5:40:44 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/1/2013
Posts: 532
Neurons: 62,948
Location: Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
***
On the following sentence should it be ONWARD or ONWARDS, FORWARD or FORWARDS?


The Forward Moving Hands of Time
The hands of a clock, minutes and hours always forward, from our own first step and onward, we steadily mark along, occasions of our lives. These are the collections, that promise the joy that comes with possession of something precisely beautiful.



Please give examples

***
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 6:56:13 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 34,403
Neurons: 227,927
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi again!
Well . . . it's like this . . . I don't think there are any real rules on whether to use the "s" or not with these adverbs.
One does not use the "s" when the words are used in adjective or verb forms.

I believe that one never uses the "s" in American, but it's common in English for adverbs.

I usually use the "s" on "-wards" adverbs, except when they are in a hyphonated form.

Verb - I'll forward your message as soon as I can.

Adjective - We used the forward gangplank to board the ship.
The forward motion of a ship is opposed by friction and the surface-tension of the water.


Adverb - Please move forwards as quickly as possible.
He headed towards the door.
He threw the ball upwards so it hit the ceiling.
Moving backwards while appearing to walk forwards is called "moonwalking".
She went to the forward-looking window to get a better view.

(So far as I know, all these "s"es would be omitted in American.)
WeaselADAPT
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 3:04:07 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/6/2014
Posts: 366
Neurons: 87,036
Location: Kentwood, Michigan, United States
shahidmost wrote:
***
On the following sentence should it be ONWARD or ONWARDS, FORWARD or FORWARDS?

The Forward Moving Hands of Time
The hands of a clock, minutes and hours always forward, from our own first step and onward, we steadily mark along, occasions of our lives. These are the collections, that promise the joy that comes with possession of something precisely beautiful.


Please give examples

***


Shahid,

Everywhere I look, it says that these "-ward" adverbs can be written with an "-s" on the end or not. Most sources also state that in British English it is more common to use the "-s" and in American English it is more common to leave it off.

I am from the U.S. and I really, really don't like the "-s" (it is not true that it is never used here, by the way), but I agree that there is apparently no standard rule.

For me, it's not a matter of "we don't say it that way here!"

First, it's simply a matter of logic. That is, why would the version with no "-s" even exist if the "-s" were required? I suspect those who prefer the "-s" would ask the same question in reverse: Why would the version with an "-s" exist if it's not required?

Second, if we are resigned to live in a world where either version is acceptable, I still prefer the cleaner version. Why tack an "-s" on to the end of all these words when it's not required? No, I mean, really, why would anyone choose a longer version than necessary? What would be the reasoning?

It seems like both of these arguments call for a more definitive rule, which we will surely never arrive at. But if we were to attempt to settle on an answer, in either direction, we would probably need to trace the "-ward" words back to their origins to see if they originated with an "-s" or not.

Anyway, my final point (because I'm not prepared to go digging through history) is that if your passage is taken from literature and you're wondering if it's been written correctly by the original author, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, if the author had written it the other way, that would have been correct, too.

the Weasel
WeaselWorks Freelance Editing
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.