Talk:behalf

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behalves[change]

The plural is well attested with over 54,000 google hits. See also, for example:

  • Citizens' Advice Bureau: for the community, by the community. Citron, Judith. London: Pluto Press, 1989, pp. 37-142. 1689 s-units. "It seems reasonable that they should share the cost of what is after all only a system of humane debt collection acting on their behalves."
  • New Scientist. 2265. "We don't want to have every last stop pulled out on our behalves in a last, heroic effort to extend our lives for a few more days or weeks or months."
Just because people say it, doesn't make it a real word or a correct grammatical construct. For example, ain't, or I seen. No other dictionaries, including English Wiktionary have a page for this word: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10]. I could go on and on. Unless you can provide proof of this so-called word in another dictionary, the plural should be listed as none.
Also, just a sidenote about the google search. I think as intelligent well-educated individuals, you and I can both agree that "I seen" is an incorrect construct. However, a google search for that phrase returns almost 2 million results! [11] Certainly the sheer volume of ignorance does not make it right... Tygartl1 15:06, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
If use by educated native speakers in a number of edited publications doesn't "make it a real word," what does? The main wiktionary allows for: "Usage in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year." A google BOOK search turns up 210 instances of 'behalves' between 2000 & 2008 alone. Also, the history of the word, from O.E. be healfe "by (his) side," supports the '-ves' ending.
And as far as "I seen" goes, I'll certain agree it's non-standard, but I'm afraid I'd disagree with you that it's incorrect. "Me no see it" is incorrect; "I seen it" is a stigmatized variant past tense form. Originally, this was regionally restricted, but in the last 100 years or so has become more of a social marker associated with lack of education.--Brett 15:29, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
What makes it a real word? Inclusion in at least one dictionary. Tygartl1 16:12, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Check out this post post by Erin McKean, Chief Consulting Editor for American Dictionaries at Oxford University Press.--Brett 18:07, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate you trying to compromise by saying that the "plural form is rare", but how do you account for the fact that literally no other dictionary on the internet has an entry for it? With all due respect, do you really think SE Wiktionary is that far ahead of the game? Go ahead and do what you want. If 10 sources, isn't enough for you, I can't imagine what I could possibly do to convince you to see another view. Tygartl1 18:28, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Uh, Brett, you're being silly. Google book search returns 912 hits for "irregardless", 471 hits for "for all intensive purposes", and 6 results for "embiggen". So what? Should we use this wiktionary to bless every invented word in the universe? The -ves plural of behalf should be considered incorrect (not "rare") here the same way it is everywhere else. WindupBird 07:16, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

If you'd like to mark it as nonstandard, be my guest. As far as Wiktionary policy, I didn't make it up, I'm just following it. As for blessing words, I wasn't aware that we had such a power. I thought we were just explaining them.--Brett 15:04, 8 July 2008 (UTC) Gentlemen: You should be chastised for your Wiki-arrogance. A simple perusal of the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition, from the mid-20th century shows the "obsolete plural" of "behalf" as "behalves". If it was obsolete in 1942, it has been a word for a long time. Perhaps scholarship would be better served by consulting real, long-standing authorities rather than churning the internet. Does anybody know what the O.E.D says? Does anybody know what the O.E.D. is?

Firstly, yes, we do know what the O.E.D is. Secondly, this is the Simple English Wiktionary. We only include obsolete entries if they are absolutely needed because most people that are just learning how to speak English won't want themselves to get confused with all of these obsolete spellings. Thirdly, if something is obsolete, then it isn't used any longer, which means we shouldn't inlcude it because it would just overcomplicate things that needn't be overcomplicated. Razorflame 21:28, 23 December 2009 (UTC)