and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry(UPDATE: Commenter Martin Shields discovered the same thing I did: some dictionaries state that there has been a difference observed by some people between "in behalf of" and "on behalf of". As you can see from the results of Martin's googling and the poll results for this issue, that distinction has been lost for a large majority of English speakers. I am nearly 60 years old. I was taught English by a prescriptivist mother and prescriptivist teachers at school, but I had never heard of the dictionary distinction until a few minutes before I wrote this blog post. Oh, the wording in question is from Is. 58:10, in both the NIV and TNIV.)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Was this written in your behalf?
My eyes landed on part of a verse in the TNIV today which had a preposition that didn't sound right to me. I read it to my wife and it didn't sound right to her either. I later checked a dictionary and discovered something. But before I tell you what I discovered, would you please read the following words and vote in the new poll in the margin whether the bold italicized words sound good to you in your dialect of English. Please do not check a dictionary before you vote: