foreword » forward
Spotted in the wild:
- “WritersDigest.com - The home of Writer’s Digest Magazine … Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life … edited by Barnaby Conrad with a forward by Monte Schulz” (link)
- “Berkeley: The New Student Revolt, Book’s Forward by Hal Draper from the Free Speech Movement Archives Web site.” (link)
- “Or, as the author says so eloquently in the forward to the book, …” (link)
Analyzed or reported by:
- Carl Hart, 26 February 2005 (link)
- Johannes Fabian (p.c., 17 April 2006)
The first cite is the one given by Hart; it’s from the Writer’s Digest website, where “forward” seems to be used pretty consistently. Fabian noticed an occurrence in the New York Times (not given here).
The analysis of “foreword” is probably opaque to most modern speakers, so there is a real temptation to treat occurrences of it as occurrences of its homophone “forward”. After all, a foreword comes forward of, in front of, the body of the book.
[Added 14 April 2009: this one seems to be very common. Using data unearthed by Eugene Volokh, Victor Steinbok calculates that 9% of the law review articles between 2000 and 2009 that have a foreword list it as “forward”.]