Afterward - afterword

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Don't confuse the two words afterward and afterword, either by typographical error or by bad spelling. There is only one letter difference between them, and their pronunciations are virtually homophones.

  • The adverb afterward, an American English form of the usual British afterwards, means 'at a later time'. For more, see Afterward - afterwards.
  • The noun 'an afterword' means
    • originally 'a word, or passage of words, spoken or written after others'; 'a postscript', akin to an afterthought.
    • now usually 'a section of writing placed at the end of a book [after the end of the events in a narrative text, or after the conclusion of a ratiocinative piece, etc.]' It is similar in meaning (and in form) to foreword, which has a similar potential confusion (see Foreword - forward). An afterword may be written by the author of the main (original) text or by a separate editor or commentator, etc.