The little word 'because'

Jan 13, 2014

It has for many years been described as a conjunction. I know that it is daytime because the sun is up.

It was slightly complicated by turning up in a prepositional phrase because of. We can go on holidays because of your generosity.

But it is being used in a different way now.

Why are you sad? Because reasons. Because because.

What follows because can be pretty well anything and so the construction is being described as because x.

Why are you happy? Because yay.

Why are you cross? Because need. Because want.

The construction is colloquial because it involves a shorthand that will be understood by the speaker and the listener because they share the context and they know that, as friends, they can reduce a whole sentence to a single word as a kind of amiable shorthand. It’s friendly and cool.

Have you noticed this?

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