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Which one is more appropriate while professional emailing:

I have informed the referees about the letters

or

I have informed the referees regarding the letters.

  • I have informed the referees [in respect] of / with reference to / respecting / apropos / on the subject of / in connection with / vis-à-vis / ... the letters. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Oct 6 '19 at 13:41
  • Which do you think is more professional between the two? Why? – AIQ Oct 6 '19 at 18:26
  • Does inform collocate with regarding? we are losing faith in all the standard grammar books.English does not have correctness.It depends on the ability of argument. – successive suspension Oct 7 '19 at 5:37
  • Really, here: about the letters. I have informed you about this. – Lambie Nov 27 '19 at 17:13
  • @successivesuspension - There's intelligibility, and there's natural diction... and sometimes a fine line between, as here. I'm not sure if I'd flag it in any way if I encountered it in the middle of an email and not in the context of a grammar question, actually. In any case, I recommend the first in my answer. – BadZen Nov 27 '19 at 17:26
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I have informed the referees about the letters

This sounds like you're making the referees aware that letters exist, or the content of the letters.

I have informed the referees regarding the letters.

Regarding elevates "letters" from a simple thing to an event.

So sounds a bit more like you're making the referees aware of some event that happened with the letters, or that the letters indicate a significant event.

  • This is a good point; I think one connotation possible here is that "the letters" could stand in as a euphemism for something involving the letters that the speaker would rather not mention. In speech, if the speaker intended this s/he would probably signal with extra time stress on "the letters". – BadZen Nov 27 '19 at 17:50
  • Regarding is just more formal, like all the other variants. – Lambie Nov 27 '19 at 17:59
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  • I have talked to the referees about the letters. [most natural sounding in speech]

Why? Because in English, we talk to people about some subject.

  • I have talked to the referees regarding the letters. [is fine and also more formal as are all the other expressions below]

Why? Because in English, we talk to people regarding this or that matter.

And finally, all these expressions given by Fumble Fingers above:

[in respect] of / with reference to / respecting / apropos / on the subject of / in connection with / vis-à-vis /

would also work. They are all more formal than "talk about" and most likely might be found in writing and not in speech.

I would add to that list: with regard to and regarding

[Over the years, I have found in respect of and respecting to be slightly more British and with regard to and regarding more AmE.]

  • Could you provide any occurrences of "informed... respecting" whatsoever? I wasn't certain about that one initially, but searched and could not... – BadZen Nov 27 '19 at 18:40
  • @BadZen I have informed the referees respecting this. Searching google will often not work. These types of usages are internalized. – Lambie Nov 27 '19 at 18:47
  • To be clear, I'm asking for some/any excerpts from some sort of published or otherwise documented written material where this occurs, not an "example". Like @successivesuspension above, I don't think "informed" and "respecting" or "regarding" colocate, but perhaps they have been used together in ways I have not encountered... – BadZen Nov 27 '19 at 18:51
  • It is not about collocating [two ls] with informed. It is about being able to substitute any or all of the phrases that mean: with regard to, at that place in the sentence. In fact, if could be at the beginning: With respect of the letters,we have informed the referees. It is sort of old fashioned but is used in the UK, especially in legal writing. (I have now said that three times I believe) – Lambie Nov 27 '19 at 19:38
  • Appeal against determinations arising from the approach taken by the High Court in respect of issues of forum conveniens and welfare. familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed144410 and: [...]when Actavis sought declarations for non-infringement in respect of the French, German, Italian, Spanish and UK designations [...] ipkitten.blogspot.com/2016/03/… It can some after most nouns. informed the referees about [something]. It replaces about as do all the others. – Lambie Nov 27 '19 at 19:41
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I have informed the referees about the letters.

is proper diction and sounds natural.

I have informed the referees regarding the letters.

is also correct, but perhaps a little less natural. So I would choose the first. (If you "wrote" or "spoke with" instead of "informed", it would sound completely natural with "regarding" - these are just more common.)

I have informed the referees in respect of the letters.
I have informed the referees with reference to the letters.
I have informed the referees respecting the letters.
I have informed the referees on the subject of the letters.

All of these are incorrect use and either sound wrong or awkward or do not convey the same meaning! Here's how to use some of these properly:

I have talked to the referees with respect to the letters.

The propositions are incorrect above - the phrase is "with respect to, not "in respect of". People would understand you, but it will sound wrong.

I have informed the referees, with reference to the letters.

This is correct usage, but different meaning. The speaker has informed the referees about /something else being discussed/, which is contextual, and additionally made reference do the letters while doing so. You would not say "with reference to" if there was not something that the "reference" came along "with".

I have informed the referees of the subject of the letters.

You can also "inform about" the letters, but "inform on the subject of" sounds awkward, the proposition "on" clashes. You could "speak on the subject of", however, if addressing an audience.

Perhaps try to avoid "apropos" and "vis-a-vis". Both examples in the comments are correct use, but they are both somewhat archaic or extra-formal, and "vis-a-vis" might be confused to imply that you talked to someone in-person or face-to-face if not used correctly.

  • diction is spoken language, not written language. And not all the ones you say are incorrect are incorrect in fact.... – Lambie Nov 27 '19 at 17:12
  • @Lambie - 'Diction' in this sense means something like 'the process of word or phrase selection', and does not refer exclusively to spoken language. Using the wrong prepositions with "respect" above is certainly incorrect diction. Consult a dictionary or English textbook to convince yourself of this, if you do not believe me. (eg. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diction) – BadZen Nov 27 '19 at 17:18
  • It may be in the dictionary, but personally I avoid words that are commonly used otherwise in English language learning. People think of speech not writing when they hear "correct diction". – Lambie Nov 27 '19 at 17:31
  • It's not merely "in the dictionary". It's in common use, completely apt to topic, and my denotation was appropriately signaled (since we're obviously not speaking here). Let's try to stay on the topic of the question and not diverge into "comments conversations", perhaps. – BadZen Nov 27 '19 at 17:48
  • I believe my comment was on topic and I also believe that a learner or teacher who sees the word diction will think mostly of spoken language. I have a right to my opinion, whether it pleases you or not. And with respect of in correct English. – Lambie Nov 27 '19 at 18:07

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