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It’s one I had not encountered before moving to NZ. Now I hear it and read it almost daily.
Yet a Google seach shows 843,000 hits for NZ out of a total of 267,000,000 so it is obviously not restricted to the antipodes.
I'd opt for "with regard to", but this tidbit seems to suggest that either is correct:
Kenneth G. Wilson (1923–). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993. regarding, as regards, in regard(s) to, with regard(s) toIn 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.
(Stolen completely from this link: http://www.englishforums.com/English/WithRegard...)
October 22, 2012, 9:51am
All these 'regards' phrases sound a bit laboured to me, the sorts of phrase people use to give a gloss of officialness. I'd say, 'as to'.
October 26, 2012, 2:51am
I'd normally plump for "regarding" in most cases, although "as to" would probably do the trick too, however after reading a couple of Anwulf's posts I've developed a liking for "anent".
January 12, 2013, 2:56pm
"in regards to" and "with regards to" has always grated on my ear, as I've always thought of "regards" as something you give (as per George M. Cohan's song, "Give My Regards to Broadway"). So I'm glad to see that the source cited prohibits those phrases from "Edited English." Sadly, though, in everyday English it now appears rampant, especially in American English. Witness a quote today of our former defense secretary Leon Panetta: "...we don't have as much insight as we should with regards to the inner workings of what happens in North Korea." Why the plural form of a noun that has served perfectly well in the singular has become so popular is a mystery to me.
April 4, 2013, 9:21am
I also usually use "regarding". It's shorter and leaves no room for doubt. "As to" is also a better option imo, unless you really want to sound pompous or something.
July 22, 2013, 7:10am
Yes, "as regards something/somebody" and "in/with/regard to something/somebody" are both formal, but sometimes in business letters or reports they're difficult to avoid. Sometimes in informal spoken language I just say (yes, say) 're:' - 'Re: tomorrow's party, has anyone bought the booze yet?'
I'm slightly puzzled by Jeremy's comment - "With regards to is Nonstandard and frequently functions as a shibboleth" - How can something *function as* a shibboleth, I wonder. Surely it's either a shibboleth or it isn't?
July 22, 2013, 1:09pm
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