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Foreword and Forward

Commonly Confused Words

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Foreword and Forward

The noun foreword refers to a short introductory note in a published work. (Also see preface.) A foreword is often composed by a person other than the author.

Forward is an adjective and an adverb with several meanings related to direction.

Examples:

  • President Barack Obama wrote the foreword to Conversations With Myself, a book by Nelson Mandela.

  • "Uncle Willie . . . was standing erect behind the counter, not leaning forward or resting on the small shelf that had been built for him."
    (Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969)

  • "On the Earth, forward motion is usually achieved by pushing on some medium, such as the ground for a car and the sea for a motorboat. We walk forwards by pushing back against the floor with our feet."
    (Lucy Rogers, It's ONLY Rocket Science, 2008)

  • "The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering--a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons--a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting--three hundred million people all with the same face."
    (George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949)

Practice:

(a) "I look _____ to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft.""
(President John F. Kennedy, "The Purpose of Poetry," 1963)

(b) Wynton Marsalis wrote the ____ to the DVD Jazz Icons: Louis Armstrong Live in '59.

(c) "When Lanie Greenberger entered the courtroom, not exactly walking but undulating _____ on the balls of her feet, in a little half-time prance, no one bothered to look up."
(Joan Didion, After Henry, 1992)

Answers to Practice Exercises

Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

200 Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs

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