current events, Media Studies Notes, TV

IN regard to or WITH regard to?

The Corona impeachment trial is covered by radio and TV news stations every Mondays through Thursdays. I usually watch the trial through the ANC cable channel. Their four presenters use the phrase IN REGARD TO in practically every other sentence.  To me, the phrase just doesn’t sound right.

I figured that perhaps the three presenters were merely following the lead of their co-presenter, who is a lawyer. In legal matters, the Latin words in re, which means “in the matter of”, are usually used in legal documents when referring to legal cases. 

I’ve always used the phrase with regard to instead of in regard to. After a bit of research on the Web, I was surprised that both phrases are considered “standard” and therefore, correct.

However, there are more examples from literature, newspapers and edited materials that use WITH regard to.

These are the writers who used WITH regard to: Fielding, Henry; Hamilton, Alexander ; Dickens, Charles; Cranmer-Byng, L.; Austen, Jane; Russell, Bertrand; Crane, Stephen;  Washington, Booker T.;  Madison, James; Poe, Edgar Allan; Melville, Herman; Forster, E. M.; Howells,William Dean and Bronte, Anne.

These are the people who used IN regard to in their published works – mostly academic or technical: Murphy, William F., Jr.; Jacob R Robin; Lara, Tracy M.; Kline, William B.; Paulson, Donald; Seleme, Hugo Omar Hanna; Jason Rostboll; Christian F.; Schemmel, Christian; Colopelnic, Nicoleta ; Sirin, Cigdem V.; Villalobos, Jose D.; Stovall, Daniel I. Marshfield, Jonathan L.; Hernandez, Elizabeth Cameron; Ferguson, Jason M.Demir, Cengiz; Unnu, Nazli A. Ayyildiz; Erturk, Emel; Islam, Nazrul; Dewey, Scott Hamilton

I think I’d rather go with the first group. When it comes to the English language, the people in the first group are heads and shoulders above the second group. No contest.

I share the thought of a certain Luke who posted this comment in a grammar website: “There is something insane going on here. How can anything be ‘in regard/s’? ‘With regard to’, ‘having regard to’ and ‘regarding’, sure. Something illogical about ‘in regard’.”

Maybe I am just more comfortable with the phrase WITH regard to because I have read the works of the writers of the first group while I have no idea who are the people in the second group.

But then, if people like E. M Forster, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Bertrand Russel, Herman Melville, etc. — masters of the English language — used the phrase WITH regard to, who says that the phrase IN regard to is correct? Is it simply because so many people are using it? But then, so many people are also using the phrases IN REGARDS TO and WITH REGARDS TO yet these phrases are considered non-standard or even vulgar.

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