Easily Confused Words: Forward vs. Foreword

Forward and foreword are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway.

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It suggests what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions couldn’t be more off base and produces humorous results.

Forward is a noun. It means to move in a direction: towards the future, a new destination, a direction of progress, moving straight ahead.

Foreword is a noun. It means part of a book that is placed before the body text begins. Typically the author provides anecdotes about what inspired the story, thanks to their family, editorial staff, and others who helped make the book happen.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Forrester had a lot of reading to do this semester and he was falling drastically behind. In order to move forward on his reading list, he thought, should he skip reading the forewords and just focus on the main text?


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