Towards/toward (UNCLASSIFIED)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 13 00:26:12 UTC 2014

On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 1:44 PM, Mullins, Bill CIV (US) <
william.d.mullins18.civ at> wrote:

> I grew up in Tennessee, and "towards" doesn't sound wrong to me.  Is
> this usage more common in the South?

My mother grew up in Longview and Marshall, Texas, and used only "towards"
[twOdz]. I was born in Marshall, but I grew up in Saint Louis, where I
began to use "toward" [toU at rd], because I felt that it was less Southern
than the form with -s. I eventually discovered that, as _acsian_ alternates
with _ascian_ in OE, so also does _toweardes_ alternate with _toweard_ in

At that point, I stopped caring, given that nobody else cared. (I wasn't
taught that there was any prescriptive distinction - or even a stylistic
one - between the two.)

After I had moved to Los Angeles, I was astounded to discover that many
people there considered StL to be in the South! They even asked me how it
was that I didn't have a Southern accent.


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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