3.13.2013

Forward vs. foreword

The copy editor is in.
I'm presenting occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

J12-1-086_0004
Vorwort = a strong sign that English is a Germanic language!

This one should be short and simple. I'd think it wasn't even necessary, except that I just picked up a published book with the wrong term used. (Oh, I know — mistakes in books wouldn't normally horrify me, but this one seemed egregious given that one of the options is a book-specific term.)

"Forward" is the descriptive word we all know and love meaning in or toward the front. (It has lesser meanings that are more metaphorically inclined, such as "precocious" and "brash.")

"Foreword" is a noun referring to a front introductory section in a book, usually written by someone other than the author, who presents and endorses the author and the premise.

You can see that they both have similar roots referring to being in front ("for," "fore"), but the "word" ending of "foreword" is our clue that it belongs in a book!

Feel free to let me know your conundrums or pet peeves.

Photo Credit: peacepalacelibrary
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