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Muddled Grammar, Muddled Thought (on behalf ofon the part of)

As first brought to Y-H-B’s attention by Jacobus Primus, speakers on both sides of the Atlantic are increasingly prone to confuse the phrases on behalf of and on the part of, using the first when they mean the second. This mistake was heard being made by an otherwise RP speaker this morning on the BBC World Service, which can be taken as a warrant of its pervasiveness.

A confusion of this sort is significant not only in itself but as a sign of a failure of thought, illustrating yet again the role linguistic error plays in undermining the cognitive integrity of verbal communication.

MICHAEL SHAPIRO

One Response to “Muddled Grammar, Muddled Thought (on behalf ofon the part of)”

  • Gary Richmond says:

    Not so much a comment on this blog entry–which seems to represent yet another example of verbal=intellectual devolution–but an appreciation for your placing a link to “Related Terms” above “Leave a Comment.” I tend to get frustrated in reading blog posts when I don’t immediately, say, recognize an abbreviation or discipline specific term, and may even stop reading. So, I appreciate this feature of your blog.

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