18/05/16 Vocabulary: Focusing & Linking

e-lesson

With reference to; talking/ speaking of/about; regarding; as regards; as far as … is concerned; as for; concerning

The expressions focus attention on what is going to be said, by announcing the subject in advance. Some of them also make a link with previous discourse, by referring back to what was said before.
With reference to is a very formal expression used mainly at the beginning of business letters.
With reference to your letter of 17 March, I am pleased to inform you that

Speaking/Talking of/about… is used to make a link with what has just been said. It can help a speaker change the subject.
A: I saw Max and Lucy today. You know, she…
B: Speaking of Max, did you know he’s going to Japan?

Regarding and concerning can come at the beginning of a piece of discourse.
Hello, John. Now look, regarding/concerning those figures – I really don’t think…

As regards and as far as… is concerned usually announce a change of subject by the speaker or writer.
…there are no problems about production. Now as regards marketing…
…about production. As far as marketing is concerned, I think the best thing is…
People sometimes leave out is concerned after as far as… This is usually considered incorrect.

As for often suggests lack of interest or dislike.
I’ve invited Andy, Bob and Mark. As for Stephen, I don’t care if I don’t ever see him again.