Quick & Dirty Tips / Eric Kilby

Some Linguists Accept 'Because' As A Preposition

Linguists are starting to consider "because" a preposition thanks to Internet usage and memes.

By Charesse James | November 21, 2013

​Attention, grammar police and enthusiastic editors: "Because" is now a preposition — because Internet.

Languages change over time to adapt to changes in our lifestyles. Now, linguists are starting to embrace a meme-ed preposition as one of those natural evolutions of speech. (Via The Atlantic)

Now, if you're thinking to yourself "Prepowhatsits?" let's recap:

"Nine or 10 of them do most all of the work: of, on, to, with, in, from, by, far, at, over, across." (Via Schoolhouse Rock )

And now "because."

Before now, "because" was just a subordinating conjunction that connects two parts of sentences. (Via Schoolhouse Rock)

It could be followed by a finite clause or by a prepositional phrase.

Enter the "because-noun." By slapping a noun, verb, adjective or interjection behind "because," a person can convey focus, brevity and a category within a single sentence — without the explanation "because" used to require.

People have been doing this for a while, to say the least, through memes, text messages and social media, well, because efficiency. (Via BecauseRaceCar.org, Twitter / @TheDailyEdge, Twitter / @MetroUK, Meme Generator)

"It's a usage, in other words, that is exceptionally bloggy and aggressively casual and implicitly ironic. And also highly adaptable. ... The 'because-noun' form is limited only to the confines of your own imagination. It can be anything you want it to be." (Via The Atlantic)

The Internet changes the English language all the time, creating new words and uses to convey complex ideas and tone with as little effort as possible. Think abbreviations, acronyms or even hashtags. The "because-noun" packs all of that into one simple phrase. (YouTube / OUlearn)

Although some linguists are getting on board with the "because-noun," it might be awhile before you can get away with using it on a term paper. However, according to linguist Neal Whitman, "It may become at least as acceptable as, say, 'graduated high school.'" (Via Quick & Dirty Tips)

Now if only "I can haz" had just stuck around a little bit longer. Because cats.

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