This one drives me crazy.
Two of the main uses for this word are when it means “about” and when it means “greetings.”
You can correctly say, “I haven’t seen your aunt for a long time. Please give her my regards.” (Notice the “s” on the end of the “regards”?) Used in this way, it means to tell someone that you are thinking of them.
When you are referring to some topic, you can correctly say, “With regard to (the topic)…” or you can say, “Regarding (the topic) ….” But you should NEVER say, “With regards to (the topic)…” unless you are asking someone to say hi to the topic or to give the topic your greetings.
Several news anchor people on CTV News regularly say, “With regards to …” when they mean, “With regard to….” The anchor person says, “With regards to the rioters…” and I immediately roll my eyes, groan, and say, “Yes, please give the rioters my regards too, while you’re at it.”
Many people make this mistake in word usage, and that is not so bad in personal speech or in emails or private communications, but I draw the line at publishing. By that, I mean anything that you write for the public to read. I include signs in the grocery store that tell you the price of broccoli, peppers, and cauliflower, for example. They are not brocolli, pepers, and callaflower.
Especially, if you are publishing a program on TV, it is your duty to use the correct form. Otherwise we would soon have news anchors reading the news with all sorts of bad grammar habits. (I fear it may be too late already).
While I’m ranting about news anchors and their mistakes, here is another one that I hear frequently.
This one drives me almost as crazy.
News Anchor: “The amount of people who came to the meeting was overwhelming.”
Me: “So about how many pounds of people would you say were there? Three thousand pounds? Four?”
It should be the number of people.
News Anchor: “There were less people at the meeting this year.”
Me: “Oh? About how many pounds less would you say?”
It should be fewer people, not less people.
If the quantity is something you can count individually, you say, the number of people or fewer people.
If those people were just so much hamburger all in a lump, you could say, “The amount of hamburger was overwhelming,” and “There was less hamburger at the meeting.”
Amount and less are words used for measuring something that could be a mass or something that could be weighed as a whole (if necessary).
Now I’m shaking in my boots that I’ve made a typo in this post. After all, I’m publishing it, and to the best of my ability, it should be correct. I should probably hire a copy-editor.