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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Because English
by siraf72 on Wed 20th Nov 2013 10:35 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

As someone who speaks three languages and sees them evolve, I do find this interesting.

To paraphrase someone who's name escapes me right now: The English are a bastard of a people with a bastard of a language.

This of course refers to the ethnicity of the English and the mishmash of other languages that is the English language, and not any inherent personality traits. English:

1 - Easy
2 - Fairly unstructured
3 - Continuously evolving since day 1
4 - the most widely spoken language in the world
5 - has the largest vocabulary.

Now add to that the fact that the internet- being the great leveller that it is, allows funny morons and the illiterate to have a disproportionate impact on society (yes I’m being a snob). The net result (no pun intended) is a faster evolution than might otherwise happen.

Again, this has a lot to do with the inherent traits of the language and less with the internet. English has changed drastically in the last thousand years. Arabic for example, has changed little in the last two thousand.

---EDIT - fixing the obligatory typos and numbering. As we all know, any post relating to language automatically generates an above average number of typos.

Edited 2013-11-20 10:44 UTC

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