August 28, 2014
When it comes to the phrases “in regard to” and “in regards to,” the correct phrase is “in regard to” or “with regard to.”
- “The website has no references in regard to the benefits of the product.”
- “With regard to my last email, I wanted to review the progress of the project.”
People tend to get confused because “as regards” is another way to introduce a topic, but it sounds a bit stiff.
- “As regards content, I think we should reference our website.”
“In regards to” is never correct. “Regards” is word to express good wishes, respect, affection or condolences in a greeting.
- “Give my regards to your mother.”
- “Warm regards, Colleen”
The preferred choice is to simply avoid the phrase. Instead, use words like “concerning,” “regarding,” “about,” “in” and “with.”
While we’re discussing words like “regard” and “regards,” let’s talk about “irregardless.” People often mistakenly use “irregardless” when they mean “regardless.” “Regardless” means “without regard” or despite something. Adding the prefix “ir-” turns it into a double-negative word, meaning the opposite of without regard or “without without regard.”
While I would never use the word “irregardless,” the American Heritage Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and Oxford English Dictionary list “irregardless” as a word. Each dictionary, however, includes the notation that it is considered a “non-standard” word.
Non-standard words are typically words that fall into the category of jargon, dialect or colloquialisms. They may technically be words, but they are common language words rather than standard language words used by educated native speakers. Consider the audience when using the word. For example, if you’re writing a business email or presenting to client or colleague, you probably shouldn’t use “irregardless.” If you’re writing dialogue or something more casual, I still wouldn’t use “irregardless.” Instead, you can use a word like “despite” or “disregarding” and throw in a different casual word like “gonna.”
- “Regardless of the cost, we are taking a business trip to WWDC next year.”
- “Despite the untimely set back, they’re gonna carry on.”
Are there any non-standard words that are in the dictionary but are not words you would actually speak or write?
Grammar Matters explores various grammar rules in the English language. If you have a grammar question you’d like to address, let me me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter at @leen_machine.