The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

in/on behalf of Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2018 9:23:29 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 4,376
Neurons: 17,800
Do native speakers distinguish between "in behalf of" and "on behalf of"?

Thanks.
palapaguy
Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2018 10:01:03 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 1,204
Neurons: 11,020
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
Koh Elaine wrote:
Do native speakers distinguish between "in behalf of" and "on behalf of"?

Thanks.


"On behalf of" is the only form I've encountered.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2018 10:06:20 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,725
Neurons: 51,343
I agree — "on behalf of" is all I've ever heard or used.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
thar
Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2018 10:20:01 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 18,018
Neurons: 73,101
I agree, 'on' is the only one that I would ever use and 'in' sounds completely wrong to me.

But
Quote:
. All the world used her ill, said this
young misanthropist, and we may be pretty certain that persons whom all the world treats ill deserve
entirely the treatment they get. The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection
of his own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a
jolly kind companion; and so let all young persons take their choice. This is certain, that if the world
neglected Miss Sharp, she never was known to have done a good action in behalf of anybody;


That is from Vanity Fair, by WM Thackeray, written in the late 1840s.
So it seems it was written that way at some point. Which might explain its presence in Indian regional English.
It no longer exists in modern Western English, though.
sureshot
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 2:12:15 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 2,022
Neurons: 378,148

Interestingly,

(A) Corpus of Contemporary American English lists 213 sentences using "in behalf of".
(Refer https://corpus.byu.edu/coca/)

(B) British National Corpus (BYU-BNC) lists 3 sentences using "in behalf of".
(Refer https://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/)

I too would prefer to say "on behalf of". To me, replacing "in" by "on" in each of the sentences mentioned in the Corpus, improves the sentence. Perhaps more research is required to justify the use of "in".

ozok
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 3:04:13 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 7/24/2018
Posts: 146
Neurons: 778


I agree with Sureshot. But it doesn't sound good...



‘in behalf of’ implies ‘for the benefit of’.

‘on behalf of’ implies ‘in place of’ or ‘as the agent of’.




just sayin'
Romany
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 6:11:48 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,548
Neurons: 45,447
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Thar's right "in" was used right up until Edwardian times (around the turn of the 20thC), though it was dwindling except in formal/legal language. Then it just stopped.

Interesting, actually.

The fact that it only appears 3 times in the corpus supports this. The three instances could be because from time to time a very old-fashioned person was employing the idiomatic use of their youth.

RuthP
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 4:50:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/2/2009
Posts: 5,150
Neurons: 57,606
Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
It is particularly interesting to me, as a native AE speaker, that there are two orders of magnitude more AE examples than BE. The use of "in" in this way is completely unfamiliar to me. I agree with ozok about what the different meanings should be, were I to be comfortable with the use of "in". I cannot, however, say I've ever seen it and had I seen it, I rather suspect I would have taken it as a mistaken / misused replacement for, or a typo of "on".
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2018 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.