Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: toward.

toward. “Toward” implies movement. It shouldn’t be used when the sentence would be served by “to” or “against” — e.g.: o “The parks and recreation department has no objections toward [read ‘to’] selling the West Suffield School.” Rubaina Azhar, “Suffield Holds Off on Sales,” Hartford Courant, 14 Mar. 1997, at B1. o “Perhaps he should consider his own attitude, which appears to be one of prejudice toward [read ‘against’] people from certain parts of the country.” Cameron T. Shalamunec, “No One Has Come Here to Make Others Unhappy,” Rocky Mountain News (Denver), 24 Sept. 1997, at A48. o “The author, Jan Murphy, suggests that our library officials acted with prejudice toward [read ‘against’] Laura Bast, who desired to volunteer with the library.” “Story Overdramatized,” Patriot & Evening News (Harrisburg), 6 Oct. 1997. In American English, the preferred form is “toward”; “towards” is prevalent in British English. Language-Change Index — “towards” (in American English) for “toward”: Stage 4. The word is preferably pronounced /tord/ (to rhyme with “board”), not /tword/ or /tuh-WORD/. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare.” Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in Classics in Composition 136, 137 (Donald E. Hayden ed., 1969).
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