Onward/onwards
Posted: 02 September 2017 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve used both. OED has separate entries for both but there’s no indication that it’s one of those British/American things. So what’s the deal here, personal preference? (Ditto for upward, forward, etc.)

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Posted: 02 September 2017 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m pretty sure that I would only use these with an “s” in such expressions as, “He must have spent upwards of $50 thousand on that car.”

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Posted: 02 September 2017 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The chief distinction between onward and onwards is that only onward can be used as an adjective. Both can serve as an adverb.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage notes that the adverb onward is more common in American English, and onwards is more common in Britain. But this is a tendency only; both words can be found on both sides of the Atlantic. The same goes for the other -ward/-wards words.

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Posted: 02 September 2017 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks, Dave.

Yes, oeco, that’s my practice but I couldn’t give you rhyme or reason for it. Sometimes one sounds right in a sentence, sometimes the other.

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Posted: 05 September 2017 03:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Sometimes one sounds right in a sentence, sometimes the other.

Couldn’t think of a better reason for choosing a particular word.

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Posted: 05 September 2017 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sometimes one sounds right in a sentence, sometimes the other.

Precisely, as with toward versus towards; both are equally acceptable forms.

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Posted: 06 September 2017 05:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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As a copyeditor, I have to enforce the preference of the style guide for the s-less versions of such words, but it always feels a little silly to me.

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Posted: 07 September 2017 11:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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"Onwards, Christian soldiers” and “Forwards, the Light Brigade” certainly sound a little odd, however grammatically acceptable they might or might not be. But perhaps that’s simply because we’re used to the S-free versions.

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