The quill whizzed across the parchment between them, back and forward as though it were skating.

I've never seen "back and forward" before. I doubt if it means the same as "back and forth". Is there any difference between these two phrases?

  • 4
    I would call this careless writing by Ms Rowling, and would prefer "backward and forward", which means the same as the set phrase "back and forth". – Michael Harvey Dec 16 '18 at 12:13

The phrases "back and forth" and "backward and forward" mean basically the same thing. The phrase "back and forward" seems to be an inconsistent combination of the two phrases. This particular phraseology may have been unintentional, as this seems to be the only time in the seven books that the author used it. Throughout the rest of the books, "backward and forward" is used approximately 27 times and "back and forth" is used once.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.