7

I often hear the following, particularly during announcements when travelling by rail or air:

On behalf of myself and the rest of the team, I would like to wish you a pleasant journey.

I've always wondered whether this is grammatical. I found this question, which discusses how to form such a sentence, but it still seems unusual to me even if it is correct. Something closer to the following would seem more rational:

On behalf of the whole team, I would like to wish you a pleasant journey.

This is because the whole team is not speaking. Contrast this to the first example in which the speaker claims to be speaking on behalf of himself.

Can either of these sentences be used to mean the same thing? Is one preferred over the other?

  • 7
    There is nothing wrong with the first version, and I actually prefer it. It, of course, violates the "modesty" rule that you shouldn't mention yourself before "the whole team", but that's not a syntax violation. Yes, it may be redundant, but English is full of redundancies, and life's too short to worry about most of them. – Hot Licks Feb 6 '15 at 21:58
  • 1
    It would not be unusual to say: John is speaking on his own behalf, not for anyone else. It is idiomatic and has meaning. So why not On behalf of myself and the rest of the team? – WS2 Feb 6 '15 at 22:21
  • 3
    I prefer the first version in the context you give. It emphasises the speaker's gratitude without demeaning the rest of the team; the 'modesty rule' hardly applies when you're leading the giving. This pragmatic device (here, for emphasising an individual whose gratitude is especially felt) is obviously not incorrect: 'On behalf of John and the rest of the team, who are sadly unable to be here today, I would like to wish you a pleasant journey.' I wouldn't normally use 'On behalf of myself ...' alone. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 6 '15 at 22:57
5

The first version is a bit redundant, but there's nothing wrong with it. They both mean the same thing, with the first putting a bit of emphasis on the fact that you are wishing them a pleasant journey- which I think is why this technically redundant form is used; it's a way to emphasize that you speak for yourself and not just the team, and that you personally agree with what you're saying.

  • 1
    There’s nothing really redundant about the first version either, if you look at it logically. Myself represents one member of the team; the rest of the team represents, well, all the others. So together they are equivalent to the whole team. But if you remove either constituent, they would no longer represent the whole team, so there is no real redundancy; they’re just different ways of saying the same thing. It’s similar to how saying “Scandinavia, Iceland, and Finland” means the same as “the Nordic countries”—neither is really redundant, just differently worded. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 2 '16 at 14:09
-2

Let us look through the wrong end of the telescope.

In conferences, convocations, summits or on board a plane or rail, if you're asked to offer a welcome address, you being the host, it devolves upon you to welcome the guests first, the team afterwards. This is decency I presume.

As this noble task is assigned to me how I can put the cart before the horse losing myself in the anonymity of the group;this is against decorum any where in the world. Hence welcome address so designed.

We feel at home on hearing the speaker thus segregating himself from the team-- rather coming a bit forward from the rest behind. Personal touch you may say.

By the way, our wise grammarians has made "I" first of all personal pronouns!!!


"Me" and "my dignified self" are two separate identities in every language, not in English alone. For this, I speak on behalf of myself. Otherwise who cares to represent whom!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.