The Pesky “S”

Toward%2FTowardsA reader has asked me to clarify use of toward/towards and regard/regards. Here are her examples:

…is inflated and anticipates only minimal settlement contributions towards resolving … /… In regards to his injuries …./ … any update with regards to the motion?

According to the Gregg Reference Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style, in the case of toward/towards, both are correct, but toward is the more common usage in the U.S. However, British English uses towards. The general rule is the same for other directional words like forward, backward,upward, and downward, along with afterward. While it isn’t incorrect, if you are in the U.S., leave the “s” off.

As regards regard or regards, the word regards (a) is used as a way to introduce a topic, such as I did at the beginning of this sentence, and (b) means good wishes expressing respect, affection, or condolences, as in “She wanted to give him her regards at the wedding.” It is not a word that can be interchanged with regard. So when you want to say in regard to or with regard to, there is no “s.” It may be easier to reword the sentence rather than argue over whether regard or regards is correct. You can say “This email is in regard to your voice mail.” or you can say “This email concerns your voice mail.” The second choice is a little more clear and solves the regard/regards problem.


I hope that clears up this issue. Bottom line, unless you are outside the United States or giving someone good wishes, leave the “s” off each word.

Grammar Giggle – Amazon Need More Staff

I’ve seen a couple of different ads like this for Amazon. What I think Amazon REALLY needs is someone to proofread anything with their name on it! Hello {knocks on monitor glass}, I’m over here! Amazon, the company, is treated as a singular unit, so it should be “Amazon NeedS More Staff” as in “it [Amazon] needs” not “they need.”


Grammar Giggle – The Chef’s What?

I caught this the other day while looking for something to watch on TV. OK, there are multiple issues with this one. They are talking about two “chefs” which requires only an “s” to make it plural (more than one). Then, they pulled of my absolute pet peeve and used an apostrophe to make a word plural–but even then, since they are talking about two chefs, if the apostrophe were appropriate, it would be AFTER the “s.” But regardless of all of that, the apostrophe is NOT appropriate. The apostrophe would be used to show possession. There is nothing in that sentence about possession of anything. The chefs certainly could not own “compete.”


Grammar Giggle – Lobster Facts Corrections

A friend sent me this picture from her recent Florida vacation. I’ll explain the many errors.


  1. First paragraph. First red circle should be “larger” and second small red circle should be the closing parenthesis mark.
  2. Third paragraph – extra space between “omega” and the dash.
  3. Next red circle, “lobster” isn’t capitalized in other parts of the paper.
  4. The next two red circles – the first circled word should be “than” and there should be a period at the end of the sentence.
  5. The last red circle should be “younger ones” if you’re going to talk about multiple “older lobsters.”

Is It The Privilege Or The Privileged Information?

MANHATTANA reader wrote and asked me whether the phrase “attorney-client privilege” or “attorney-client privileged” was correct. I gave her my answer and told her that I would write a blog post on it.

“Attorney-client privilege” is defined as “the requirement that an attorney may not reveal communications, conversations and letters between himself/herself and his/her client, under the theory that a person should be able to speak freely and honestly with his/her attorney without fear of future revelation.” (

“Attorney-client privileged” would be used if you were talking about an “attorney-client privileged communication” or “attorney-client privileged information.”

I did find a law firm article ( indicating memos containing privileged information should be marked “ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL.” This makes sense because you are talking about the information in the memo, which is attorney-client privileged information (as mentioned above) and is confidential information.

So, if you are indicating on a memo or on a letter that the information is confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege, the correct designation appears to be “ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED INFORMATION.” It follows that you could say that the word “information” is assumed and “ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED” is a correct designation.

When you are talking about the privilege and not the information, then “attorney-client privilege” is proper, but if you are talking about information or a specific communication, then “attorney-client privileged” is correct.

This research proved that my original answer to the reader was . . . wrong! But now I know and will be able to figure out if we are talking about the privilege or the communication so that I get it right.

Social Media Advertising For The Loss!

A friend forwarded this one to me. I don’t even know where to start, so I have circled the errors that I found in a quick review. Note that the word “lite” is in more common usage when you’re talking about a lower calorie or lower fat version of a food, but NOT when talking about fire used to light something. That is “light.”

Glass House

What If I’m More Interested In The Property?

I saw this sign the other day and had to go back and make sure it said what I thought it said and to get a picture of it. For Sale Buy Owner? I don’t want to buy the owner, but surely someone is interested in the 4+ acres of property that would seem to be for sale if the sign were correct. Is the property for sale or the owner? It is definitely confusing.

For Sale

Facebook Memes = Crazy!

Athlete memeI typically scroll right past most Facebook memes because they are full of grammar errors (and we all know that makes me crazy)! But this one was one of the worst I’ve seen, so I had to share.

I’ve circled the errors, just in case you weren’t quite sure. I’m fairly certain this is NOT related to Nike, even though it includes their patented trademark swoosh. So here is the explanation of the errors:

“Its” should be “It’s” because it is the contraction of “It Is” National Athlete Day.

“Your” should be “You’re” as the contraction of “You Are”

“A” should be “An” because it is before the word “athlete” which starts with a vowel sound.

So . . . the entire message SHOULD be “It’s National Athlete Day. Repost If You’re An Athlete.”

There now I feel better.