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Anonymous:
Just want to know the proper use of in behalf and on behalf.. i'm confused
Anonymous:
(1) ON behalf of = as the authorized, official agent of (I am speaking ON behalf of the Smith family); (2) IN behalf of = for the benefit of (I'm donating $100 IN behalf of the homeless); = as a friend (I'm sure that I speak IN behalf of all posters when I thank the volunteers on this website for doing such a great job day in and day out).
Dear friend,

on behalf of sb/ on sb's behalf is correct. It means 'instead of someone or as a representative of someone'.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff.
Regular Member628
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Additionally, as has been noted above, in behalf of means 'for the benefit of someone', as in We raised money in behalf of the earthquake victims. Some people use in and on interchangeably to convey both meanings, but this use should be avoided in careful speech.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff.
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
I can't agree with the final comment.

See this note from www.m-w.com :

usage A body of opinion favors in with the “interest, benefit” sense of behalf and on with the “support, defense” sense. This distinction has been observed by some writers but overall has never had a sound basis in actual usage. In current British use, on behalf (of) has replaced in behalf (of); both are still used in American English, but the distinction is frequently not observed.

See this note from the Free Dictionary:

Usage Note: A traditional rule holds that in behalf of and on behalf of have distinct meanings. In behalf of means "for the benefit of," as in We raised money in behalf of the earthquake victims. On behalf of means "as the agent of, on the part of," as in The guardian signed the contract on behalf of the minor child. The two meanings are quite close, however, and the phrases are often used interchangeably, even by reputable writers.
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Hello Barbara,

thank you for providing additional information on this subject; the data itself, however, may be disputed. What I referred to in my previous post is known linguistically as catachresis. English is notorious for multiplying the instances of this phenomenon, especially among naïve speakers (which is also a linguistic term, by the by). Catachresis results in ambiguity, either actual or potential; personal experience of a considerable number of reputable writers and public speakers tells them to seek greater precision of meaning; therefore, people attempting to master English should be given clear guidances on what every single phrase stands for in order not to make both competence and performance mistakes. At the end of the day, it is never too late to tell someone that expression X and expression Y are interchangeable, which is too simple an approach, to tell you the truth. 'The perfect use of language is that in which every word carries the meaning that it is intended to, no less and no more', everyone should keep this in mind.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff.
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You may be too prescriptive to keep around here, Gleb. We try to teach language the way it is used, not the way someone thinks it should be used– unless you would like to preface all your remarks with a disclaimer that it is your personal opinion.
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Good evening, Mister Micawber,

the pressure of other work has deterred me from replying to this message of yours as promptly as possible, so I intend to do it in the present post in order to shed light on some important questions. Regrettably, the issues under consideration cause you to react abruptly without providing any argumentation in favour of your viewpoint which, most probably, dramatically differs from mine.

My 'keeping around here' (as you call it), or my using the capabilities of the site (as I refer to it) is entirely in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of using this web-resource. Thus, my views are neither hateful nor intentionally malicious, and I express any view I wish on the basis of my experience in language coaching, teaching of linguistics and legal training. For that reason, your warning about providing a disclaimer sounds queer, to say the least.

Your reference to my non-existent prescriptivism makes me think that you haven't fully grasped the very notion of this linguistic approach. Saying that 'it is bad grammar to end a sentence with a preposition' is a vivid example of a prescriptive judgement, but when one says that some usage should be avoided in careful speech, the difference is self-evident. Non-native speakers should bear in mind that statements like 'the distinction between X and Y is frequently not observed' are dangerously misleading. Just one example to illustrate this point: for and on behalf of sb is a well-known legal phrase that concludes certain written instruments, in which any potential deviation from the norm may prove to be damaging to the signee; there are other examples galore in legal practice and everyday life - I hope there is no need to list them all here. Besides, as you are sure to know, in debates on language and education, enthusiasts for descriptivism usually use the label 'prescriptive' dismissively, and this, of course, does not add to the informed diplomacy that users are supposed to display on the forum.

All in all, my aim is to help people improve their English, and I concentrate on capturing the creative aspect of human linguistic ability. I am convinced that international standard spoken/written English is by far the most suitable variety of language for learners today. It is a common conclusion in the linguistic world that standard varieties admit much less variation than non-standard varieties. I am ready to discuss the question on a professional level and in greater detail, but NO DIGRESSION, PLEASE.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff.
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Some people use in and on interchangeably to convey both meanings, but this use should be avoided in careful speech.
Unfortunately, this is poor guidance; it does not reflect reality. That is my concern.

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