Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Nov 2013 23:26 UTC
Internet & Networking

The word "because," in standard English usage, is a subordinating conjunction, which means that it connects two parts of a sentence in which one (the subordinate) explains the other. In that capacity, "because" has two distinct forms. It can be followed either by a finite clause (I'm reading this because [I saw it on the web]) or by a prepositional phrase (I'm reading this because [of the web]). These two forms are, traditionally, the only ones to which "because" lends itself.

I mention all that ... because language. Because evolution. Because there is another way to use "because." Linguists are calling it the "prepositional-because." Or the "because-noun."

I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff. This is language changing before our very eyes - and thanks to the internet, it happens out in the open, in an easy documentable way, and at an incredibly fast pace.

Technology leaves nothing untouched.

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sagum
Member since:
2006-01-23

I have been online since the early '90s and I have to say that the use of 'ur' and 'wat', and even 'y' only really became popular after SMS use with mobile where people were forced to use short text due to the limitation both the keyboard input (pre T9 predictive texting) and probably most important, the cost of SMS texts vs the character limitation. For a lot of mobile phones, the text messages were singular too. There was no automatic expansion of multiple texts.

The only other places where I saw bad English was in the 'hacker' community, where it was more common to use l33t speek.


Still, being dyslexic myself I really enjoyed the internet and it's helped me a lot. More so then school ever could. I could only just about read and spell words as simple as Cat and Dog.

It my have been my dyslexic ability that gave me more of an insight to when languages were changing as I found it really hard when people started to use shortened texts. For example, there is a huge difference between you're, and your. For me, when someone simply types 'ur', it is a big struggle for my brain to understand.
The worst offender is 'y'. I ask a question, and people reply y. and I read it as 'why', every, single, time.

It's not too bad now since most people use a smart phone with a full keyboard layout and they have predictive words built in. It is actually harder for people to use the short 'ur' type words then it is to write out them in full. People sill manage to do it though :o

My girlfriend actually, got so used to reading and writing in this SMS type language that she was berated by her English teacher when doing homework for her exams...


Even though reading and writing for me is a struggle most days, I really do enjoy it. I'll never be able to get a degree in English, but I understand the frustration behind not being able to read what others put so I do try my hardest.

I've even gone as far as to learn some other languages. I can read some French and Italian to get the basic gist of it and I recently started to learn Russian. I face the same problem in those languages too, with people creating spelling errors or using slang language that doesn't directly translate in my head, but for me it's just how it is in English anyway.

I understand language changes. Living in England, I can travel less then 10 miles and the accent and language used will be vastly different. My girlfriend is from Yorkshire, I'm from Staffordshire, and if she goes outside my home town, she finds it a struggle to understand people.. and some of the words used to describe things, 'snapping' for instance, is common Yorkshire term for a packaged lunch taken to work or school.

It's really fun to learn language, but I can understand why some people dislike when the language is 'abused' by people using things like 'ur'. It's usage itself creates a lot of confusion over events and often simply results in people either being confused when they've assumed it meant one thing and the author meant something else, or they have to explain themselves anyway and thus having to write more then they had to if they have used You're or you are instead in the first instance.

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