No smoking permitted in this area/on behalf of

I came across a sign "No smoking permitted in this area", which to me is incorrect. I understand there are many ways to convey the same message such as "Smoking not permitted in this area" or "NO smoking area" etc.

In my estimation the said message is incorrect as "No" and "permitted" are used together. Am I correct?

Secondly, the phrase "on behalf of" means "as the agent of, on the part of," as in the guardian signed the contract on behalf of the minor child.

However, I have read the phrase being used “on behalf of my wife and I”. How can I serve as an agent of myself?

Also note that because a person acting on somebody's behalf is acting for another, on behalf of myself is illogical and I think it should be avoided.

Kindly suggest what the expression should be in this kind of a situation.

Comments for No smoking permitted in this area/on behalf of

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Oct 03, 2012
No Smoking
by: Joe

I agree that the phrase "No smoking permitted in this area" is incorrect.

It can, and I believe has been proven in English Law, that this can be interpreted as to mean that you are permitted to NOT smoke in this area, inferring that it is a smoking area where you can, if you wish not smoke.

Nov 15, 2010
An answer...
by: Ola Zur


I don't see a problem with the first sentence (neither do I - Diana). Which rule says that "no" and "permitted" are not allowed together?

"On behalf of" means something like "instead of."

For example, "On behalf of the entire family, I want to welcome you into our house."
This sentence means that you represent your entire family when saying your guest is welcome.

When you say "on behalf of my wife and I," this actually means that you are speaking for both of you. She is not present, but it's like you both are there saying these words.

Ola Zur is the editor of, an illustrated guide to English.

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