Tricky Words in this week's OVI
I expect everybody knows what the expression "a hat trick" means - but just in case, it refers to the feat (achievement) of the same team winning three championship titles in a row, or the same
player scoring three goals in one match. The number three has a certain magical quality - a point can be effectively surrounded from three sides, a tripod provides stable support for a camera,
there are many expressions consisting of three words with a satisfying rhythm (lock, stock and barrel; hook, line and sinker; faith, hope and charity), and of course there's the Holy Trinity. The
reason for the HAT comes from cricket. The bowler (the player who "throws" the ball) used to wear a hard, round, black hat (a bowler hat) for protection, and a bowler who takes three wickets (hits
the sticks behind the batsman, putting him out of the game) with three successive balls, wins a new hat from his club, so that's quite a good trick.
The question this week is about when and how to use the expressions As to, As per, Regarding and With reference to (corresponding to Vzhladom na or V suvislosti s ...). The first point is level of
formality - longer expressions are more formal than shorter ones, so you can choose which one is most appropriate for what you are saying or writing. These expressions mean practically the same,
except for As per, which I would use when referring to some rules and regulations, like "podľa" or "v súlade s" (e.g. As per Safety Flash No. .. dated ...). Some people say "As per usual" instead
of "As usual", but that makes me cringe. More examples: With reference to your letter dated...(formal); Regarding our meeting tomorrow, ...(common); As to the weather here, ...(informal).
Please send questions about English language habits to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will choose one to answer each week. AB