A trivium from the Web: because kidding?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Apr 18 13:55:33 UTC 2014

Thanks.  Yes, the presentation I mentioned took the Schnoebelen's Idibon post as a starting point, but didn't observe the timeline you mention.  Still, the "because yolo" factor could be one of those cases where the trajectory was influenced without constituting the origin, as Read describes for the role of Van Buren and the "Old Kinderhook" campaign helping get the already extant O.K. (< orl korrect) off and running.


On Apr 18, 2014, at 9:00 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 11:20 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> Probably not mockery; that's our Word of the Year you're talking, because duh
>> (http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/because-wins-2013-word-of-the-year-vote-because-awesome/)
>> This very day two students in our Grammatical Diversity in  U.S. English class
>> presented on "Because X", its history, distribution, syntactic constraints, etc.
>> etc.  More complicated than it seems! (One hypothesis is that its rise may have
>> been influenced by "because YOLO", which was originally understood as 'because
>> you only live once', then when the acronym "YOLO" became just plain "yolo",
>> "because" was reanalyzed to be able to take other nouns, adjectives, etc. as
>> complements.  A possibility, anyway. There are others out there.)
> Intriguing theory, though the rise of "because X" slightly preceded
> the "YOLO" fad. As the Spring 2014 edition of "Among the New Words" in
> AmSp will demonstrate, "because X" began circulating in 2010, with the
> canonical "because reasons" appearing on Twitter in Feb./Mar. of that
> year:
> https://twitter.com/bunnyrabbit2/status/8606532037
> https://twitter.com/jvmarques/status/10998272383
> And Jalopnik's "because race car" meme took off in Jan. 2011:
> http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/because-race-car
> As for "because YOLO," the earliest I find in the Twitter archive is
> in a consciously acronym-heavy tweet from May 2011:
> https://twitter.com/nlsgro/status/75381904064516097
> ...but it didn't become popular until late 2011 (when "YOLO" started
> taking off more generally thanks to Drake's "The Motto"):
> https://twitter.com/search?q=%22because%20yolo%22%20until%3A2012-01-01&src=typd
> For more on "because YOLO" and other cases of "because X" with
> compressed clauses, see Tyler Schnoebelen's Idibon post:
> http://idibon.com/innovating-innovation/
> --bgz
> --
> Ben Zimmer
> http://benzimmer.com/
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list