On The Part Of On Behalf Of

When did this phraseology start to get muddled up?

It seems few people now use the term “on so-and-so’s behalf” in what I persist in thinking of as the correct sense. Instead they appear to use it to mean so-and-so did it (whatever it was.)

But “on so-and-so’s behalf” of course means “for so-and-so.” It means someone else did it; as an agent for so-and-so.

Something done by so-and-so would be done “on so-and-so’s part“, not on their behalf.

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4 comments

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  1. NeilW

    Really? I’ve never heard that misusage!

    Have you been talking to teenagers again?

  2. jackdeighton

    I’m always talking to teenagers (in a professional capacity.)
    I hear the misuse mostly in vox pops on the TV news or on Radio 5.
    It’s most often in football related items or commentaries, though, so what can you expect?

  3. NeilW

    Well, when it’s actually footballers talking…or ex footballers punditing… as you say, what can you expect? These guys are at hot forge face of language development. They invented their own tense after all!

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