Because you are using that word wrong

because science“Because…science!”

If you use the internet or know people who do, you might have heard this new way of using the word “because”. The Atlantic recently had a piece breaking down how this new usage differs from the traditional usage.

I’m here to proclaim my opposition to this new usage. I’m pretty confident that curmudgeonly stance is doomed to history’s dust bin, because linguistic prescriptivism is generally foolhardy. But I still think the “prepositional because” is a bad thing.

Why? Because it’s the opposite of articulation. I greatly value finding the right words to describe a complex idea. This can be done with brevity for succinct explanations in casual conversation, or with flourish and heart for more poetic uses of language. But the clumsy one or two words following the prepositional because often fail to describe well the reasons that might otherwise make up your explanation. I think that is bad for communication and bad for the English language.

Of course, the prepositional because is funny! And it has its own array of flavors. But I assert that these benefits fail to outweigh the costs of increasingly vague and assumptive language. It will probably become vastly widespread very soon, but I nonetheless recommend against its usage in this way.