Internet Invents a Preposition, Because Irony

Blogs, social media changing grammar: Megan Garber

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 24, 2013 3:26 PM CST

(Newser) – Because politics. Because science. Because money. Remember when you'd need an "of" in these sentences? No longer, because Internet-speak, writes Megan Garber in the Atlantic. In short, the Internet has turned "because" into its own preposition (as language expert Stan Carey has pointed out). For example, the sun's turning upside down, but don't worry, "because science," the UK's Metro notes. Or "skipping lunch today because sleep," says a Twitter user. Or a politician will win "because R-Oklahoma," points out Wonkette.

There are a number of theories as to how the "prepositional-because" or "because-noun" began. Memes featured it as far back as 2001 ("because f--- you"). It could be derived from the phrase, "because, hey, (insert noun here)," says linguist Neal Whitman. For instance: The politician will win "because, hey, R-Oklahoma." Or maybe it's tied to parents telling their kids no, just "because." What's clearer is why the "prepositional-because" has taken off: It "maximizes efficiency and irony in equal measure," Garber writes. Click for the full piece.

Grammar is changing, because social media.
Grammar is changing, because social media.   (Shutterstock)
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