because info

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 4 16:49:47 UTC 2014

Ack!! Those are two very different uses of "because"! "Because
Benghazi!" is very different from "Because tired". The first one is
actually a very rigid structure "because [insert meme]" that simply
treats the inserted meme as a full clause (another, much older example
might be "because my left foot!"--although "my left foot!" may well be
derived as a shortened version of a full clause, at some point, by the
time it is inserted into this structure, it has already been
_memefied_--compare, "I won!" "You won, my left foot!"). The second one,
"Because tired" seems to be an anaphoric development somewhat analogous
to parts of LOLCat grammar. I'm actually somewhat disappointed that
these two are being lumped together. The apparent structural similarity
looks ephemeral to me.


On 1/4/2014 11:05 AM, David Barnhart wrote:
> The American Dialect Society pronounced is Word of the Year 2013 (last
> night) the word _because_ when used with an immediately following noun or
> adjective etc.  In part their press release says:
> "This year the very old word _because_ [from Middle English, about 1300]
> exploded with new grammatical possibilities in informal online [?] use,"
> Zimmer said.  "No longer does _because_  have to be followed by _of_ or a
> full clause.  Now one often sees tersely worded rationales like 'because
> science' or 'because reasons.'  You might not go to a party 'because tired.'
> As one supporter put it, _because_ should be Word of the Year 'because
> useful'!"

The American Dialect Society -

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