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Just looked up after in the OED. It looks like ‘after’ could be used in the sense of ‘afterwards’ in OE, while ‘afterward(s)’ doesn’t appear till ME. I’m guessing the reason for the change is the loss of dative endings leading to the possibility of confusion with prepositional after, as discussed.

I’m going to hazard a guess that the ‘afterwards' sense doesn’t pattern strongly geographically at all but is still slowly dying out in favour of the unambiguous alternative across the world (it’s likely to feel a little informal, since writing prefers the unambiguous).

All speculation of course.

Ian


> On 7 Jul 2017, at 21:49, Logan Kearsley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> On 7 July 2017 at 13:48, Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I'm quite surprised by all the "unacceptable"s on that use of "after".
>> Perhaps my good ol' American English has been tainted by too much British
>> television. :)
> 
> Ditto. It sounds perfectly fine to me, and I'm *originally*
> midwestern, and now live in Utah. But, I did spend a good bit of my
> childhood in Europe, so maybe that messed up my judgments.
> 
> -l.
> 
>> On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 15:34 Gage Amonette <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Normally, I would say: " John came, then Mary came."
>>>> 
>>>> "John came. Afterwards Mary came."  -- Sound stilted, but acceptable.
>>>> "John came. After that Mary came."  -- Acceptable.
>>>> "John came. After, Mary came." -- No. Unacceptable.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> That sounds about right.
>>> 
>>> On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 11:49 AM, Jeffrey Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Midwest American [IL, WI, MN]]  (according to me :)  )
>>>> 
>>>> Normally, I would say: " John came, then Mary came."
>>>> 
>>>> "John came. Afterwards Mary came."  -- Sound stilted, but acceptable.
>>>> "John came. After that Mary came."  -- Acceptable.
>>>> "John came. After, Mary came." -- No. Unacceptable.
>>>> 
>>>> Jeffrey
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 9:04 AM, stewart fraser <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> A few of you North Americans are saying you find …
>>>>> 
>>>>> “John came. Afterwards Mary came”
>>>>> or “John came. After that Mary came”
>>>>> or “John came. After, Mary came”
>>>>> 
>>>>> … a bit strange. OK, if I was just giving a sequence of events I would
>>>> say
>>>>> “John came and then Mary came”. However if I had said “John came” and
>>> had
>>>>> finished talking. Then I realized a further event happened that my
>>>> listener
>>>>> would also be interested in, I would continue “Afterwards Mary came”
>>>>> 
>>>>> Another time I would this construction would be when the second clause
>>>> was
>>>>> contrary to expectations. For example “it was a very dirty game of
>>>> football
>>>>> with 11 yellow cards given and two guys sent off, but after they all
>>> went
>>>>> to the pub together and got along fine.
>>>>> 
>>>>> How do you guys feel about this usage ?
>>>>> 
>>>>>                                        … Stewart
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Jul 7, 2017, at 11:26 PM, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 8:23 AM, stewart fraser <[log in to unmask]
>>>> 
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> That’s interesting Gary. Let me ask you another question.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Let me build up the scene first … you are a painter and decorator
>>>>>>> working with your helper at some sight. Now you both know that the
>>>> next
>>>>>>> task will take around 15 minutes and it is a two man job. Your
>>> helper
>>>>> says
>>>>>>> he is gasping for a cigarette. To put him off for a bit …
>>>>>>>> could you say “after” ?
>>>>>>>> could you say “afterwards” ?
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I wouldn't use either word in isolation. I think I'd say "can you do
>>>> that
>>>>>> later?", or "Wait till after we're done."
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> --gary
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>