Spotlight – That one little extra S

I’ve been meaning to post this for a few weeks now, but kept getting distracted. Anyway, I stumbled upon this interesting 30-question ‘words we all misuse’ quiz:

http://people.howstuffworks.com/words-we-all-misuse-quiz.htm?mkcpgn=6043612134764

It’s pretty pedantic, but I rather expect that from a quiz that is basically intended to make you feel all linguistically superior. Question 7 pokes fun at Alanis Morisette – like so many have done before – by pointing out that most of the things in her hit ‘Ironic’ are anything but ironic. There’s the good old ‘then-than’ and ‘they’re/there’ mix-up. I breezed my way through faultlessly.

Until I got to question 23…

“I’ll give you some money ________ your tuition if you get good grades this summer.”

Options given were ‘toward’ and ‘towards’. Being the properly Brittified person that I am, I picked ‘towards’. Not only does the quiz say that’s wrong, it categorically states that ‘Towards is never the correct answer.’

Um, excuse me, American-centred lying piece of crap? Towards is a perfectly acceptable answer if you speak British English, like several million people in the world do. Googling ‘toward vs towards’ brings up a host of pages which all say that both are equally acceptable options, with towards preferred among British and Australian English, and toward favoured in American English.

So, little quiz, be as pedantic as you like, but please do get your facts straight.

Rant over.

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