A web search for “in regards to” brings up 680 million links, thousands of which lead to articles telling readers that “in regards to” is nonstandard English. Apparently quite a few English speakers have managed to avoid reading any of them.
Nonstandard “in regards to” continues to spread, and not just on blogs and in comments written by the educationally challenged. Here are some examples from sites that aspire to some sort of professional expertise:
Elasticity of Ridership In Regards to Transit Fare and Service Changes –headline over an About.com article
ICA President McLean Changes Tune in Regards to CCE –headline at The Chronicle of Chiropractic
Nitrogen Inversion in regards to Stereochemistry –title of study guide at ucla.edu
McDonalds in regards to globalization and business change –title of an essay offered at a UK site
The phrase “in regard to” means “about, regarding, concerning.” Speakers who put an “s” on regard in “in regard to” and “with regard to” are perhaps confusing these phrases with “as regards”:
As regards your question concerning the membership of the Universal House…
BBC policy as regards interviewers/journalists and their relationship with government officials
In the expressions “in regard to” and “with regard to,” regard is a noun; in the expression “as regards,” regards is a verb.
The noun regard does take the plural in certain other idioms. For example,
Give my regards to your parents.
Best regards, Sam
Speakers who find it difficult to remember to omit the “s” can avoid nonstandard “in regards to” and “with regards to” by using regarding in their place.
Related post: In Regard to Your Letter…