WOD: Word of the Day – Backward or Backwards?

We all have pet peeves…mine just happens to be a single word in the dictionary. I can’t stand when people use the word “backwards” instead of “backward” — as in, “Head backwards, make a right and you can’t miss the great sale at Saks…”

I figure, if you are already going backward why do you need to go backwards? It may be a pet peeve but is it grammatically incorrect? Only one way to find out; ask our favorite wordsmith: Grammar Girl. 

Here’s the details:

Backwards is standard in Britain and backward is standard in America. The exception is that when you’re using backward as an adjective, as in “her grandmother’s backward ways” then you never use the ‘s’ — it is always backward. Still confused? Grammar Girl has an easy tip: if you live in America, you can just remember that it’s always backward, without the ‘s.’

*Image courtesy of Pierre Metivier.


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