Thursday, April 3, 2008

It's On Behalf Of!

Much as I don't like to repeat myself, I had to post on this topic again. The improper use of "in behalf of" is starting to irritate me.

Yesterday, Casey and I were in Megamall for some errands and we stopped by Toy Kingdom, my husband being a toy collector after all. Toy Kingdom had a voice over the PA announcing birthday celebrants who were shopping in the store. The announcer kept saying, "In behalf of Toy Kingdom, we would like to greet...." After the announcement, all the employees would clap and this rather annoying birthday jingle would play. My irritation at the music aside, I kept wincing every time I would hear "in behalf of Toy Kingdom." How many Toy Kingdom shoppers had their birthday yesterday anyway?

One of my earliest posts was on this topic. When we are representing someone else, we say "on behalf of". "In behalf of" is used when we're doing something for the benefit of someone else. Hence, it's "On behalf of Toy Kingdom" (the person over the PA is representing everyone in Toy Kingdom) and "We collected goods in behalf of the flood victims" (the speaker collected charity for the benefit of the flood victims).

Now, I do know that English is a living and evolving language. In fact, "on behalf of" and "in behalf of" are often interchanged now. Still, I think it's important to know how to use English correctly just the same.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I, too, is bothered whenever I hear someone says "in behalf of" instead of "on behalf of". This is very common here in Canada also. Another incorrect phrase that is used often is "on/in behalf of myself and...". This is absolutely incorrect as the speaker is obviously representing other people and not himself.

The Canadian