Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PSA Against Cringe-Worthy Grammar

To actors, writers, and all citizens of this great English-speaking nation...

Stop saying “in regards to.”

Please! Stop using it in your everyday conversations, stop making your characters say it in scripts, stop using it to try to sound erudite. Why?

Because it’s WRONG!

The proper English is “in regard to.” You can send multiple “regards” with a gift – “With warm regards” – but otherwise, it’s a singular “regard.”

Every time I see a professor or doctor character on a TV show say “in regards to,” I want to throw something at my television. A real professor or doctor would know better.

Evidence from an authority:
Kenneth G. Wilson (1923–). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.

regarding, as regards, in regard(s) to, with regard(s) to

In and with regard to, regarding, and as regards are all Standard, synonymous prepositions, slightly longer and more varied than but meaning much the same as about and concerning: I spoke to him regarding [as regards, in regard to, with regard to] his future.

With regards to is Nonstandard and frequently functions as a shibboleth, although it can be Standard and idiomatic in complimentary closes to letters: With [my] regards to your family.... In regards to, however, is both Substandard and Vulgar, although it appears unfortunately often in the spoken language of some people who otherwise use Standard. It never appears in Edited English.

You hear that? It’s not a colloquial usage of the phrase. It’s substandard and VULGAR.

I’ve been accused of being an annoying perfectionist on this matter, but of course I am – I’m a writer. Excuse me for wanting to defend the English language against careless laziness.

More evidence:
Oh, and while we’re at it, “supposably,” “verbage,” and “irregardless” are not words. You made them up.

Refudiate” is also made up, but hopefully you already knew that.

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