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Suppose a client sends a request to a server. Since the client is not connected to the server directly, it cannot hand the request directly to the server. Instead, the request has to be transmitted along a path from the client to the server, through all the intermediate routers, and at last arrives at the server.

My question is, is it correct that "the request is forwarded towards the server", since the request is transmitted in a particular direction, i.e., the direction to the server. I don't find the similar usage in oxford learner's dictionary, but I feel that's should be right if I want to stress the direction in which the request is forwarded?

The usage given by the dictionary is "forward to", but I think this usage may not be so proper.

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  • In the U.S., I'd recommened using toward, not towards: The request is forwarded toward the server.
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 11:12
  • Ok. Then a router will have to forward the request through a face to forward the request toward the server. This face is a face "toward the server" or "associated with the server"? Which one is better, do you think? Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 11:21
  • I was just adding a comment. You'll have to wait for someone else to answer your question. :^) It's a good question, though, which is why I upvoted it. My gut tells me that "toward(s)" is okay, but others might have more insight than me.
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 11:31
  • I guess 'forward to' sounds fine here
    – Leo
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 11:40
  • Consider a context where the destination of the request is not clear, but it is forwarded toward/to the edge of the network. In this context which one is better? "to" or "toward"? Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 11:44

1 Answer 1

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It depends on whether you want to refer to the entire process, or only to an early part of it.

Saying "the request is forwarded to the server" is the normal way to phrase it, and will be understood to refer to the whole process of getting the request from client to server.

If you need to refer specifically to one step in the process, then "forwarded towards the server" is perfectly acceptable. However, it's a less common way to phrase this - I'd only use it if the distinction between 'the current step' and 'the whole forwarding process' is important to what you're trying to say.

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