Toward or Towards?

When I was working on the high school newspaper back in Boise, my journalism teacher insisted that there was no such word as “towards”. It skewed my understanding of the word irreparably. She didn’t even admit of any possibility of there being “towards” in any conceivable usage. But I forgot, to a certain extent, the rule, seeing as I’d never looked it up myself, and decided to do so.

I turned to Bing–which is now my default browser using Microsoft Edge–rather than Google. I simply typed in the words “toward or towards”. And the first result showed Merriam-Webster authority.

This is the page that appeared.

It’s a rather lengthy article that showed me something that my journalism teacher didn’t know. There is little to no difference between the usage of toward and the usage of towards. It began as old English, and both forms were used freely. Not until the late nineteenth century was there even a suggestion of distinction between American and British usage, and that was spurious and not authoritative.

In essence, you can use “toward” or “towards” interchangeably. There is no real difference. I learned this today as I wrote the word “toward” in my novel Hunter’s Vengeance. The things you learn on the internet.

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