Re: ...because [noun]

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Dr Nick

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Aug 23, 2013, 2:18:16 AM8/23/13
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Lewis <g.k...@gmail.com.dontsendmecopies> writes:

> In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
> "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.
>
> For example:
>
> I need to stop at the store because milk.
> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.
>
> I'm running late because traffic.
>
> I didn't do it because reasons.<1>
>
> I'm on a low-sodium diet because doctors.
>
> <1> This one is a little different, as it indicates more a "yadda yadda"
> dismissal of the reasons; as in there are reasons but you and your
> listener don't want to sit through the time it would take to explain
> them, and they aren't specifically important now anyway.

My immediate response is "I've never heard that". Which usually means
I'll hear it today (or tomorrow at least). Let's see.

John Briggs

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Aug 23, 2013, 5:21:30 AM8/23/13
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On 23/08/2013 07:00, Lewis wrote:
> In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
> "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.
>
> For example:
>
> I need to stop at the store because milk.
> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.
>
> I'm running late because traffic.
>
> I didn't do it because reasons.<1>
>
> I'm on a low-sodium diet because doctors.
>
> <1> This one is a little different, as it indicates more a "yadda yadda"
> dismissal of the reasons; as in there are reasons but you and your
> listener don't want to sit through the time it would take to explain
> them, and they aren't specifically important now anyway.

No, it must be "because of".
--
John Briggs

Stan Brown

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Aug 23, 2013, 5:34:05 AM8/23/13
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On Fri, 23 Aug 2013 06:00:42 +0000 (UTC), Lewis wrote:
> In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
> "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.
>
> For example:
>
> I need to stop at the store because milk.
> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.
>

I have never heard that construction.

--
"The difference between the /almost right/ word and the /right/ word
is ... the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning."
--Mark Twain
Stan Brown, Tompkins County, NY, USA http://OakRoadSystems.com

Leslie Danks

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Aug 23, 2013, 5:50:09 AM8/23/13
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Stan Brown wrote:

> On Fri, 23 Aug 2013 06:00:42 +0000 (UTC), Lewis wrote:
>> In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
>> "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.
>>
>> For example:
>>
>> I need to stop at the store because milk.
>> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.
>>
>
> I have never heard that construction.

Neither have I. It sounds as if someone's fingers got tired half-way through
entering a text message.

--
Les (BrE)
It's a ludic situation, Jim, but not as we know it.

Paul Ney

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:57:21 AM8/23/13
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"Lewis" <g.k...@gmail.com.dontsendmecopies> wrote on 23.08.2013 07:00
GMT the message news:slrnl1duk9....@mbp55.local

> In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
> "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.

No, it is not just you ;-) I experience this in other languages too.

> For example:
>
> I need to stop at the store because milk.
> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.
>
> I'm running late because traffic.
>
> I didn't do it because reasons.<1>
>
> I'm on a low-sodium diet because doctors.
>
> <1> This one is a little different, as it indicates more a "yadda
> yadda" dismissal of the reasons; as in there are reasons but you and
> your listener don't want to sit through the time it would take
> to explain them, and they aren't specifically important now anyway.

You say it ;-) The reason that usually follows "because" is not given
correctly, detailed as necessary, as people only give a simple hint.
Certainly, this is not correct language usage, but a trendy habit... It
is accepted in some social environments and I would not blame it.

BTW, in newsgroups, or in comment sections of online media etc., because
is often replaced by bcoz ;-) A kind of "funuse"...

Regards, PY [Paul_Ney/at/t-online.de]

Bertel Lund Hansen

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Aug 23, 2013, 8:14:22 AM8/23/13
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Lewis skrev:

> I need to stop at the store because milk.
> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.

> I'm running late because traffic.

Wouldn't it be correct to say:

I'm running late because of the trafic.

I am not saying that the other examples could be corrected in the
same way.

--
Bertel, Denmark

Tony Cooper

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Aug 23, 2013, 8:57:50 AM8/23/13
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On Fri, 23 Aug 2013 06:00:42 +0000 (UTC), Lewis
<g.k...@gmail.com.dontsendmecopies> wrote:

>In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
>"...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.
>
>For example:
>
>I need to stop at the store because milk.
> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.
>
>I'm running late because traffic.
>
>I didn't do it because reasons.<1>
>
>I'm on a low-sodium diet because doctors.
>
><1> This one is a little different, as it indicates more a "yadda yadda"
> dismissal of the reasons; as in there are reasons but you and your
> listener don't want to sit through the time it would take to explain
> them, and they aren't specifically important now anyway.

The only use of the bare "because" I know about is the age-old parent
reply to a question about why a child has to do something: "Because".

More loquacious parents say "Just because", and parents who feel a
need to provide a full explanation say "Because I say so".
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando FL

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 23, 2013, 9:05:35 AM8/23/13
to
Yes, they could. They wouldn't be particularly informative, but they
would be grammatical and comprehensible.

It may be that Lewis is simply not hearing the highly reduced shwa that
the "of" turns into.

Richard Yates

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Aug 23, 2013, 9:20:34 AM8/23/13
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On Fri, 23 Aug 2013 06:00:42 +0000 (UTC), Lewis
<g.k...@gmail.com.dontsendmecopies> wrote:

>In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
>"...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.
>
>For example:
>
>I need to stop at the store because milk.
> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.
>
>I'm running late because traffic.
>
>I didn't do it because reasons.<1>
>
>I'm on a low-sodium diet because doctors.
>
><1> This one is a little different, as it indicates more a "yadda yadda"
> dismissal of the reasons; as in there are reasons but you and your
> listener don't want to sit through the time it would take to explain
> them, and they aren't specifically important now anyway.

It is a recent construction that I had first seen used by liberal
political commentators. It is used as a parody of what they see as
non-sequitur reaoning by far-right conservatives (e.g. Tea Partiers).
You will see it often used at Daily Kos.

The implication is that the 'reasons' that follow 'because' are simply
rote talking points and catch phrases that do not actually support the
premise.

For instance, "Impeach Obama because...[liberty, socialist, Kenyan]."

Christian Weisgerber

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Aug 23, 2013, 8:06:33 AM8/23/13
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Lewis <g.k...@gmail.com.dontsendmecopies> wrote:

> In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
> "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.

..., because: [noun].

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber na...@mips.inka.de

Richard Yates

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Aug 23, 2013, 9:21:40 AM8/23/13
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No. It's a new construction.

Richard Yates

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Aug 23, 2013, 9:23:54 AM8/23/13
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Jerry Friedman

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Aug 23, 2013, 10:30:27 AM8/23/13
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Here's a conservative one:

"Sally Kohn: �Conservatives freaking out� at Obama�s Trayvon comparisons
because racism"

That is, the liberal commentator Sally Kohn says "conservatives are
freaking out" at Obama's comparison of himself to Trayvon Martin and
feels all she has to do to explain this reaction is mention racism
(though without the word "racism").

http://twitchy.com/2013/07/19/sally-kohn-conservatives-freaking-out-at-obamas-trayvon-comparisons-because-racism/

There's a somewhat similar construction, "Confirmed: Obama still thinks
�but Rush Limbaugh!� is a winning strategy", in a link at that page.

In my very limited exposure to this construction, I haven't seen any
examples that weren't sarcastic--"yada yada" as Lewis says, satirizing
"catchphrases" as Richard Yates says. It's popular in some circles,
because buzzword. Thought-terminating cliche.

--
Jerry Friedman

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 23, 2013, 12:49:07 PM8/23/13
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In article <meoe1952acmnildht...@4ax.com>,
It's very common online, and creeps into the speech of those who spend
too much time online (my students). One popular meme is "your
argument is invalid because bacon". Indeed, "because bacon" by itself
gets over 40,000 raw Google hits.

Nathan

--
Department of Linguistics
Swarthmore College
http://sanders.phonologist.org/

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 23, 2013, 1:26:50 PM8/23/13
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What would that expand to? What is its underlying form?

Or is it like "No soap. Radio."?

None of Lewis's (invented?) examples fit the schema of catch-phrase/sarcasm
that the others have shown is involved; he also said he's been "hearing" it
for "the last couple of years."

Since I listen to the sort of folk whose blogs have been cited, I would
expect to have heard it, and since it's so striking, I expect I would have
noticed, but I haven't.

Mark Brader

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Aug 23, 2013, 2:30:44 PM8/23/13
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"Lewis":
> In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
> "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.

I also have started coming across this in the last couple of years.
It strikes me as a natural development of the language, either a
prepositioning of the conjunction (you can verb anything, right?)
or a shortening of "because of". On the other hand, I wouldn't be
surprised if (1) it's an old usage that I never heard of, or
(2) it's a short-lived fad that dies out.

Randall Munroe, the author of the webcomic xkcd, has written several
xkcd strips based on his fiancee getting cancer. See for example
http://xkcd.com/931/ (with a "context" link at the top) and
http://xkcd.com/1048/

That's context; now look at this strip:

http://xkcd.com/1141/

and note the usage of "but" when they're playing Scrabble.
--
Mark Brader "Unfortunately for the grass, the cold water is
Toronto moving at over half the speed of sound."
m...@vex.net --Randall Munroe

My text in this article is in the public domain.

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 23, 2013, 2:59:39 PM8/23/13
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In article <gqCdnVp8btrJN4rP...@vex.net>,
m...@vex.net (Mark Brader) wrote:

> "Lewis":
> > In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
> > "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.
>
> I also have started coming across this in the last couple of years.
> It strikes me as a natural development of the language, either a
> prepositioning of the conjunction (you can verb anything, right?)
> or a shortening of "because of". On the other hand, I wouldn't be
> surprised if (1) it's an old usage that I never heard of, or
> (2) it's a short-lived fad that dies out.
>
> Randall Munroe, the author of the webcomic xkcd, has written several
> xkcd strips based on his fiancee getting cancer. See for example
> http://xkcd.com/931/ (with a "context" link at the top) and
> http://xkcd.com/1048/
>
> That's context; now look at this strip:
>
> http://xkcd.com/1141/
>
> and note the usage of "but" when they're playing Scrabble.

I wouldn't be surprised if this construction appeared at some point in
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. It definitely has the feel of Joss
Whedon's dialogue.

In fact, the very second transcript I searched turned up a similar
example (with an adjective rather than a noun):

"WILLOW: I don't even get how we made that guy, because, wow,
advanced!" ("Triangle", s05e11, January 2001)
<http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/transcripts/089_tran.html>

I searched a few more transcripts, but couldn't find any relevant
examples.

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 23, 2013, 3:22:25 PM8/23/13
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In article
<sanders-7D2DE1...@news.eternal-september.org>,
Unsurprisingly, Language Log has discussed this very phenomenon:

<http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4068>

In the comments, there is an example from 1996 ("Because
circumstances. I was just lucky, really"), plus an example with an
intervening "hey" from Jack Handy's Deep Thoughts: "If you ever fall
off the Sears tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like
a dummy, and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy."

A commenter also provides examples from more than three centuries ago,
but as the commenter notes, "The modern constructions are almost
certainly reinventions rather than continuations of the older ones":

"Bitterness comes very near to Enmity, and that is Beelzebub; because
the Perfection of Wickedness." (because NP) – Some Fruits of Solitude,
1682

"This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die,
yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present,
because immortal." (because ADJ) – More Fruits of Solitude, 1702

John Briggs

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Aug 23, 2013, 3:39:48 PM8/23/13
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I'd accept the last one (because ADJ) because "because" is just part of
that adjectival phrase. "Except" could be used in the same way.
--
John Briggs

Jerry Friedman

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Aug 23, 2013, 3:49:40 PM8/23/13
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On Friday, August 23, 2013 1:22:25 PM UTC-6, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> In article
> <sanders-7D2DE1...@news.eternal-september.org>,
> Nathan Sanders <san...@alum.mit.edu> wrote:

["because noun"]

> > I wouldn't be surprised if this construction appeared at some point in
> > Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. It definitely has the feel of Joss
> > Whedon's dialogue.
>
> > In fact, the very second transcript I searched turned up a similar
> > example (with an adjective rather than a noun):
>
> > "WILLOW: I don't even get how we made that guy, because, wow,
> > advanced!" ("Triangle", s05e11, January 2001)
>
> > <http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/transcripts/089_tran.html>
>
> > I searched a few more transcripts, but couldn't find any relevant
>
> > examples.
>
> Unsurprisingly, Language Log has discussed this very phenomenon:
>
> <http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4068>
>
> In the comments, there is an example from 1996 ("Because
> circumstances. I was just lucky, really"),

I'd say that's different--it's just a missing "of".

> us an example with an
> intervening "hey" from Jack Handy's Deep Thoughts: "If you ever fall
> off the Sears tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like
> a dummy, and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy."

That, I'd say, is a quotative. It's the same as "...people will try to
catch you, because they'll be all like 'Hey, free dummy.'" The ones
under discussion also seem rather quotative, but they also have a
conspicuous elision of what's being "quoted" to emphasize the
buzzwordness of the noun.

> A commenter also provides examples from more than three centuries ago,
> but as the commenter notes, "The modern constructions are almost
> certainly reinventions rather than continuations of the older ones":
>
> "Bitterness comes very near to Enmity, and that is Beelzebub; because
> the Perfection of Wickedness." (because NP) – Some Fruits of Solitude,
>
> 1682
>
> "This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die,
> yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present,
> because immortal." (because ADJ) – More Fruits of Solitude, 1702

I imagine that "almost certainly" is because unlike those "because
liberty" examples, the two above elide "it is" or "they are". The
construction still exists, but I think relatively few people use it.
Around here, Don Phillipson comes to mind.

--
Jerry Friedman

Glenn Knickerbocker

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Aug 23, 2013, 4:37:25 PM8/23/13
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On 8/23/2013 1:26 PM, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> On Friday, August 23, 2013 12:49:07 PM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:
>> It's very common online, and creeps into the speech of those who spend
>> too much time online (my students).

I would have said I'd heard it since the 1980s but only started seeing
it online in recent years.

> What would that expand to? What is its underlying form?

The whole point is that it wouldn't expand because the thought was never
completed.

ŹR

Horace LaBadie

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Aug 23, 2013, 4:42:08 PM8/23/13
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In article <dtKdnXSdmPKeVYrP...@bestweb.net>,
> �R

"You can't go."
"Why not?"
:Because."
"Why because?"
"Because because."

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 23, 2013, 4:45:57 PM8/23/13
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In article <0fce2c12-112b-4b9b...@googlegroups.com>,
I'd say the "underlying form" is "because bacon". If that's what they
said, and it's what they intended to say, then I see no need to
propose some deeper, more abstract structure than that.

Jerry Friedman

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Aug 23, 2013, 4:55:46 PM8/23/13
to
On Friday, August 23, 2013 10:49:07 AM UTC-6, Nathan Sanders wrote:
...

> It's very common online, and creeps into the speech of those who spend
> too much time online (my students). One popular meme is "your
> argument is invalid because bacon".

I take it the idea of this is "mentioning bacon as a non-sequitur is
more interesting than whatever I'd have to say to refute your
argument". It's sort of like answering any question with "the one with
the biggest tits".

> Indeed, "because bacon" by itself gets over 40,000 raw Google hits.

Some of which, of course, are things like "because bacon isn't all that
tasty or good for you".

--
Jerry Friedman

Leslie Danks

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Aug 23, 2013, 4:58:06 PM8/23/13
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There can't be many of those.

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 23, 2013, 5:08:12 PM8/23/13
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In article <f0a7ef0a-e33c-4277...@googlegroups.com>,
Jerry Friedman <jerry_f...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> On Friday, August 23, 2013 10:49:07 AM UTC-6, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> ...
>
> > It's very common online, and creeps into the speech of those who spend
> > too much time online (my students). One popular meme is "your
> > argument is invalid because bacon".
>
> I take it the idea of this is "mentioning bacon as a non-sequitur is
> more interesting than whatever I'd have to say to refute your
> argument". It's sort of like answering any question with "the one with
> the biggest tits".

It's more like "bacon is so awesome that whatever you have to say
can't possibly be as awesome, therefore it is wrong". It's usually
not intended as a way to say that the argument is invalid (you might
very well agree with the person's argument); its main purpose is to
humorously introduce bacon into the discussion. Because bacon.

> > Indeed, "because bacon" by itself gets over 40,000 raw Google hits.
>
> Some of which, of course, are things like "because bacon isn't all that
> tasty or good for you".

Sure, but if you look at the first few pages of hits, you'll see many
of the relevant examples. There are various business, tumblrs,
Facebook groups, Pintrest groups, blogs, forums, etc. named "Because
Bacon", plus hits like the following:

"Give Dad The Gift Of Fancy Boxed Bacon Because, Bacon."
"because BACON! That's why!"
"Bacon Press, Because… Bacon"
"Maple bacon on a stick from Landhaus. Because #bacon."
"This is a French Toast Reuben Nutella Elvis Sandwich, Because Bacon
and Nutella, Duh."
"My early present to you is bacon, because BACON!"

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 23, 2013, 5:21:06 PM8/23/13
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In article <ea62e062-dffd-4c17...@googlegroups.com>,
Jerry Friedman <jerry_f...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> On Friday, August 23, 2013 1:22:25 PM UTC-6, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> > In article
> > <sanders-7D2DE1...@news.eternal-september.org>,
> > Nathan Sanders <san...@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>
> ["because noun"]
>
> > > I wouldn't be surprised if this construction appeared at some point in
> > > Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. It definitely has the feel of Joss
> > > Whedon's dialogue.
> >
> > > In fact, the very second transcript I searched turned up a similar
> > > example (with an adjective rather than a noun):
> >
> > > "WILLOW: I don't even get how we made that guy, because, wow,
> > > advanced!" ("Triangle", s05e11, January 2001)
> >
> > > <http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/transcripts/089_tran.html>
> >
> > > I searched a few more transcripts, but couldn't find any relevant
> >
> > > examples.
> >
> > Unsurprisingly, Language Log has discussed this very phenomenon:
> >
> > <http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4068>
> >
> > In the comments, there is an example from 1996 ("Because
> > circumstances. I was just lucky, really"),
>
> I'd say that's different--it's just a missing "of".

It's hard to tell. 1996 does seem a bit early (that's pre-Buffy!),
but it definitely goes back to the early 2000s, so it's not impossible
for it to have existed in print a few years before that.

> > us an example with an
> > intervening "hey" from Jack Handy's Deep Thoughts: "If you ever fall
> > off the Sears tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like
> > a dummy, and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy."
>
> That, I'd say, is a quotative. It's the same as "...people will try to
> catch you, because they'll be all like 'Hey, free dummy.'" The ones
> under discussion also seem rather quotative, but they also have a
> conspicuous elision of what's being "quoted" to emphasize the
> buzzwordness of the noun.

I agree that this example feels somewhat different from the "because
bacon" examples, but I can also see a natural evolution from one to
the other, so I think this probably does represent a point in the
lineage of the current form, rather than a completely independent
construction.

R H Draney

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Aug 23, 2013, 5:27:17 PM8/23/13
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Tony Cooper filted:
>
>On Fri, 23 Aug 2013 06:00:42 +0000 (UTC), Lewis
><g.k...@gmail.com.dontsendmecopies> wrote:
>
>>In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
>>"...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.
>
>The only use of the bare "because" I know about is the age-old parent
>reply to a question about why a child has to do something: "Because".
>
>More loquacious parents say "Just because", and parents who feel a
>need to provide a full explanation say "Because I say so".

And if the parent has a banjo:

http://youtu.be/r4Qng-cLSFA

....r


--
Me? Sarcastic?
Yeah, right.

Mike L

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Aug 23, 2013, 5:58:49 PM8/23/13
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I rather think it's been a minor part of my speech since undergraduate
days, when one said various things like "Mike very keen on baroque",
and "Mike not here because rehearsal". That's fifty years. There was
also a bizarre fad for using the infinitive-with-'to' for finite
verbs: "His sister to smoke a pipe".

--
Mike.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:02:40 PM8/23/13
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I was asking specifically about the "bacon" in Nathan's example(s). By your
argument, any of 100,000 or so English nouns could have been chosen.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:04:30 PM8/23/13
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Then you're right at home here in the newsgroup where "Because that's
how we say it!" is an acceptable answer to "why."

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:08:57 PM8/23/13
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THEN "BECAUSE BACON" IS NOT ARBITRARY. It is not a non sequitur. It is
not a way of introducing bacon into the discourse. It refers to the
immediately preceding context.

Were you lying, or merely deliberately misleading, when you presented
"because bacon" as an example of an arbitrary use of any ol' noun as a
dismissive?

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:22:37 PM8/23/13
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In article <eb15d04f-eac9-48fa...@googlegroups.com>,
You are confused. I was talking about the specific meme "your
argument is invalid because bacon".

> Were you lying, or merely deliberately misleading, when you presented
> "because bacon" as an example of an arbitrary use of any ol' noun as a
> dismissive?

In your usual blind haste to turn things personal, you have
misunderstood. Please reread the relevant discussion again, and note
that it is specifically about "your argument is invalid because bacon":

Nathan: It's very common online, and creeps into the speech of those
who spend too much time online (my students). One popular meme is
"your argument is invalid because bacon".

Jerry: I take it the idea of this is "mentioning bacon as a
non-sequitur is more interesting than whatever I'd have to say to
refute your argument". It's sort of like answering any question with
"the one with the biggest tits".

Nathan: It's more like "bacon is so awesome that whatever you have to
say can't possibly be as awesome, therefore it is wrong". It's
usually not intended as a way to say that the argument is invalid (you
might very well agree with the person's argument); its main purpose is
to humorously introduce bacon into the discussion. Because bacon.

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:24:08 PM8/23/13
to
In article <cc193d66-c654-4337...@googlegroups.com>,
"Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote:

> On Friday, August 23, 2013 4:45:57 PM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> > In article <0fce2c12-112b-4b9b...@googlegroups.com>,
> > "Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote:
> > > On Friday, August 23, 2013 12:49:07 PM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:
>
> > > > It's very common online, and creeps into the speech of those who spend
> > > > too much time online (my students). One popular meme is "your
> > > > argument is invalid because bacon". Indeed, "because bacon" by itself
> > > > gets over 40,000 raw Google hits.
> >
> > > What would that expand to? What is its underlying form?
> >
> > I'd say the "underlying form" is "because bacon". If that's what they
> > said, and it's what they intended to say, then I see no need to
> > propose some deeper, more abstract structure than that.
>
> Then you're right at home here in the newsgroup where "Because that's
> how we say it!" is an acceptable answer to "why."

I certainly don't need to resort to any Chomskyan-style abstract deep
structures to explain the existence of the structure.

Jerry Friedman

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:25:49 PM8/23/13
to
On Friday, August 23, 2013 2:42:08 PM UTC-6, Horace LaBadie wrote:
...

> "You can't go."
> "Why not?"
> :Because."
> "Why because?"

In my family that was "Because why?"

> "Because because."

--
Jerry Friedman

Bart Dinnissen

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:29:22 PM8/23/13
to
Better not eat it raw, then.

--
Bart Dinnissen

The woods are lovely, dark and deep / But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep / And miles to go before I sleep
- Robert Frost

Skitt

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:39:04 PM8/23/13
to
Bart Dinnissen wrote:
> Jerry Friedman wrote:
>> Nathan Sanders wrote:

>>> Indeed, "because bacon" by itself gets over 40,000 raw Google hits.
>>
>> Some of which, of course, are things like "because bacon isn't all that
>> tasty or good for you".
>
> Better not eat it raw, then.
>
When I was much younger, in Latvia, I used to eat quite a bit of "raw"
bacon. It was cured and smoked, though.

--
Skitt (SF Bay Area)
http://home.comcast.net/~skitt99/main.html

Leslie Danks

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Aug 23, 2013, 6:51:46 PM8/23/13
to
Skitt wrote:

> Bart Dinnissen wrote:
>> Jerry Friedman wrote:
>>> Nathan Sanders wrote:
>
>>>> Indeed, "because bacon" by itself gets over 40,000 raw Google hits.
>>>
>>> Some of which, of course, are things like "because bacon isn't all that
>>> tasty or good for you".
>>
>> Better not eat it raw, then.
>>
> When I was much younger, in Latvia, I used to eat quite a bit of "raw"
> bacon. It was cured and smoked, though.

Same here in Austria (and in Germany, of course). It's normally sliced very
thinly for eating raw. If I want some for frying, I have to ask them to
slice it specially to the thickness I want (3 mm is about right).

Horace LaBadie

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Aug 23, 2013, 7:25:23 PM8/23/13
to
In article <6829c9df-e09b-42b1...@googlegroups.com>,
I don't know about your family, but we weren't raised that way!

Robert Bannister

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Aug 23, 2013, 9:47:41 PM8/23/13
to
On 23/08/13 2:18 PM, Dr Nick wrote:
> Lewis <g.k...@gmail.com.dontsendmecopies> writes:
>
>> In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
>> "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.
>>
>> For example:
>>
>> I need to stop at the store because milk.
>> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.
>>
>> I'm running late because traffic.
>>
>> I didn't do it because reasons.<1>
>>
>> I'm on a low-sodium diet because doctors.
>>
>> <1> This one is a little different, as it indicates more a "yadda yadda"
>> dismissal of the reasons; as in there are reasons but you and your
>> listener don't want to sit through the time it would take to explain
>> them, and they aren't specifically important now anyway.
>
> My immediate response is "I've never heard that". Which usually means
> I'll hear it today (or tomorrow at least). Let's see.
>

I had much the same fear.

--
Robert Bannister

Robert Bannister

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Aug 23, 2013, 9:53:19 PM8/23/13
to
On 23/08/13 9:05 PM, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> On Friday, August 23, 2013 8:14:22 AM UTC-4, Bertel Lund Hansen wrote:
>> Lewis skrev:
>>
>>> I need to stop at the store because milk.
>>
>>> I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk.
>>
>>> I'm running late because traffic.
>>
>> Wouldn't it be correct to say:
>>
>> I'm running late because of the trafic.
>>
>> I am not saying that the other examples could be corrected in the
>> same way.
>
> Yes, they could. They wouldn't be particularly informative, but they
> would be grammatical and comprehensible.
>
> It may be that Lewis is simply not hearing the highly reduced shwa that
> the "of" turns into.
>

Still, in that case it is surprising that the "be" has survived. I'd
expect to hear something like "cuzza trafic".

--
Robert Bannister

Robert Bannister

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Aug 23, 2013, 9:55:35 PM8/23/13
to
On 24/08/13 6:29 AM, Bart Dinnissen wrote:
> On Fri, 23 Aug 2013 13:55:46 -0700 (PDT), in alt.usage.english Jerry
> Friedman <jerry_f...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> On Friday, August 23, 2013 10:49:07 AM UTC-6, Nathan Sanders wrote:
>
>
>>> Indeed, "because bacon" by itself gets over 40,000 raw Google hits.
>>
>> Some of which, of course, are things like "because bacon isn't all that
>> tasty or good for you".
>
> Better not eat it raw, then.
>

Nothing wrong with roher Schinken.
--
Robert Bannister

Robert Bannister

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Aug 23, 2013, 9:56:10 PM8/23/13
to
Don't you find Schinken is too salty for frying?

--
Robert Bannister

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 23, 2013, 10:16:01 PM8/23/13
to
And I asked you why "bacon" had been chosen for that purpose, and you
replied with a number of examples where "bacon" was not arbitrary, and
thus did not serve to answer the question in the slightest.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 23, 2013, 10:17:26 PM8/23/13
to
And no one asked you to.

Are you incapable of reading ordinary English words in anything but their
Chomskyan technical sense?

fabzorba

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Aug 24, 2013, 12:28:02 AM8/24/13
to
On Friday, 23 August 2013 19:34:05 UTC+10, Stan Brown wrote:
> On Fri, 23 Aug 2013 06:00:42 +0000 (UTC), Lewis wrote: > In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of > "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me. > > For example: > > I need to stop at the store because milk. > I need to stop at the store because I need to get milk. > I have never heard that construction. -- "The difference between the /almost right/ word and the /right/ word is ... the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning." --Mark Twain Stan Brown, Tompkins County, NY, USA http://OakRoadSystems.com

I have never heard it, tho it might be part of the new txt talk. I don't like it tho, it sounds ugly.

No one has mentioned that "because" remains a conjunction however it is being used. The new use detailed does not change this.

I would be surprised if "because" is being used in the shorthand of txt talk. The obvious alternative is "coz", which I use anyway, in all except the most formal circumstances. Just as I use "thru" for "through" and "tho" for "though". Pedagogues tend to be very stuffy about abbreviations, especially here in Australia where any idiomatic usage reminds our betters that we were convicts not so long ago. Abbreviations* were very common and acceptable prior to the Victorian era, as was the much maligned "ain't".

*Why is "abbreviation" such a long word?

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 24, 2013, 1:49:33 AM8/24/13
to
In article <557c7dae-6405-4234...@googlegroups.com>,
"Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote:

[snip PTD's confusion]

There are two constructions being discussed.

Construction 1 is the nominal topic of the thread, the "X because
NOUN" construction (which seems to have a related variant "because
ADJ"), where something (if not everything) about NOUN justifies X.
NOUN is usually intended to be a genuine justification.

Construction 2 is of the form "X Y", where either X or Y is "your
argument is invalid", and the other part is a fake justification for
the invalidity of the argument, usually a non sequitur, to point out
how ridiculous the argument is, to draw attention away from the
argument to the justification instead, or just to be funny. The
justification could be a declarative statement, such as "my hair is a
bird"[1] or "this cat is pushing a watermelon out of a lake"[2], but
because of the growing popularity of Construction 1, the justification
could be a form of Construction 1, such as "because butter".[3] There
are other possibilities, too.[4]

"Bacon" happens to be a popular choice for NOUN in Construction 1,
because bacon.[5] Consequently, it is also a popular choice for NOUN
when Construction 1 is used as the fake justification in Construction
2.[6]

Construction 1 and Construction 2 (even when it contains Construction
1) have very different uses.

HTH!

Nathan

[1]
<http://www.thebuzzmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/my-hair-is-a-bi
rd-argument-invalid.jpg>

[2]
<http://forums.massivecraft.com/attachments/your-argument-is-invalid-jp
g.8101/>

[3] <http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/BECAUSE_fda0bf_1217934.jpg>

[4]
<http://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/argument-is-invalid-meme-3
5.jpg?w=500>

[5] Here, "because bacon" means something along the lines of "because
bacon is so awesome that it has turned vegans into devoted carnivores
and brought burly men to tears of joy when they find it in their
sandwich, amen and hallelujah, forever and ever, til death do us part,
so of course it's a popular choice for NOUN".

[6] See [5] to be reminded just how awesome bacon is. Note further
that bacon is so awesome that it should be mentioned at every
opportunity, even when it's not on topic, because bacon is just that
fucking awesome. It is so awesome that every argument pales in
comparison to the fucking awesomesauce that is bacon, so bacon is a
perfectly acceptable reason why any argument is invalid.

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 24, 2013, 2:08:51 AM8/24/13
to
In article <61d28e68-12d1-466b...@googlegroups.com>,
"Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote:

> On Friday, August 23, 2013 6:24:08 PM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> > In article <cc193d66-c654-4337...@googlegroups.com>,
> > "Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote:
> >
> > > > > What would that expand to? What is its underlying form?
> >
> > > > I'd say the "underlying form" is "because bacon". If that's what they
> > > > said, and it's what they intended to say, then I see no need to
> > > > propose some deeper, more abstract structure than that.
> > >
> > > Then you're right at home here in the newsgroup where "Because that's
> > > how we say it!" is an acceptable answer to "why."
> >
> > I certainly don't need to resort to any Chomskyan-style abstract deep
> > structures to explain the existence of the structure.
>
> And no one asked you to.

You asked for an "underlying form", with the clear implication that
(a) such a thing even exists at all (where?), and (b) it is something
distinct from what was said or intended (why would it need to be?).

Chomsky is well-known for, at least at one point, being really big on
the existence of a deeper level of abstract representation for
sentence, an "underlying form" that is not identical to what was said
or what was intended.

I don't have any evidence that any such "underlying form" even exists,
let alone what a particular one would be, so I can't tell you what the
"underlying form" of "because bacon" is. As I said, all I would say
is that the "underlying form" of "because bacon" is "because bacon".
That is what was said, and that is what was intended, and I have no
reason to believe that there is some third, abstract "underlying form"
different from those two that is floating around somewhere (where?).

Maybe if you provided a definition of "underlying form", I could help
you figure out what this third form would look like in your pet
abstract theory of syntax (though I don't really care too much for
such theoretical abstractions, because all too often they're too
divorced from the concrete reality of the utterance to be of any use).

Leslie Danks

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Aug 24, 2013, 4:08:36 AM8/24/13
to
What I buy for frying is not Schinken (aka ham - various kinds thereof), but
Speck (aka bacon, usually smoked). I don't find it too salty (I like salt);
others might... I'm not very sure what the technical difference between
"ham" and "bacon" is.

Bertel Lund Hansen

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Aug 24, 2013, 4:50:20 AM8/24/13
to
Leslie Danks skrev:

> What I buy for frying is not Schinken (aka ham - various kinds thereof), but
> Speck (aka bacon, usually smoked). I don't find it too salty (I like salt);
> others might... I'm not very sure what the technical difference between
> "ham" and "bacon" is.

"Ham" in Danish is "skinke". "Bacon" is "bacon". "Midterstykke"
means "middle part". "Inderl�r" means "inner thigh".

http://www.dk-kogebogen.dk/billeder-partering/Udskaeringsplanche_gris.php

You'll find bacon second row to the right under "Midterstykke".
Skinke is in the right middle box.

--
Bertel, Denmark

R H Draney

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Aug 24, 2013, 5:38:10 AM8/24/13
to
Leslie Danks filted:
>
>What I buy for frying is not Schinken (aka ham - various kinds thereof), but
>Speck (aka bacon, usually smoked). I don't find it too salty (I like salt);
>others might... I'm not very sure what the technical difference between
>"ham" and "bacon" is.

Not surprising in a country where logic dictates that since cilantro and
coriander come from the same plant, they should have the same name....r

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 24, 2013, 9:12:57 AM8/24/13
to
On Saturday, August 24, 2013 1:49:33 AM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:

> [5] Here, "because bacon" means something along the lines of "because
> bacon is so awesome that it has turned vegans into devoted carnivores
> and brought burly men to tears of joy when they find it in their
> sandwich, amen and hallelujah, forever and ever, til death do us part,
> so of course it's a popular choice for NOUN".

You said that before. Many things, however, are "awesome." Why single
out bacon?

It is possible, though apparently you are unaware of the fact, to either
say that you don't know, or to say nothing at all.

But when has Nathan ever allowed anyone else to have the last word?

CDB

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Aug 24, 2013, 9:39:16 AM8/24/13
to
On 23/08/2013 3:39 PM, John Briggs wrote:
> Nathan Sanders wrote:
>> Nathan Sanders <san...@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>>> m...@vex.net (Mark Brader) wrote:
>>>> "Lewis":

>>>>> In the last couple of years I've been hearing (and seeing) versions of
>>>>> "...because [noun]" and wondering if it's just me.

>>>> I also have started coming across this in the last couple of years.
>>>> It strikes me as a natural development of the language, either a
>>>> prepositioning of the conjunction (you can verb anything, right?)
>>>> or a shortening of "because of". On the other hand, I wouldn't be
>>>> surprised if (1) it's an old usage that I never heard of, or
>>>> (2) it's a short-lived fad that dies out.

>>>> Randall Munroe, the author of the webcomic xkcd, has written several
>>>> xkcd strips based on his fiancee getting cancer. See for example
>>>> http://xkcd.com/931/ (with a "context" link at the top) and
>>>> http://xkcd.com/1048/

>>>> That's context; now look at this strip:

>>>> http://xkcd.com/1141/

>>>> and note the usage of "but" when they're playing Scrabble.

>>> I wouldn't be surprised if this construction appeared at some point in
>>> Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. It definitely has the feel of Joss
>>> Whedon's dialogue.

>>> In fact, the very second transcript I searched turned up a similar
>>> example (with an adjective rather than a noun):

>>> "WILLOW: I don't even get how we made that guy, because, wow,
>>> advanced!" ("Triangle", s05e11, January 2001)
>>> <http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/transcripts/089_tran.html>

>>> I searched a few more transcripts, but couldn't find any relevant
>>> examples.

>> Unsurprisingly, Language Log has discussed this very phenomenon:

>> <http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4068>

>> In the comments, there is an example from 1996 ("Because
>> circumstances. I was just lucky, really"), plus an example with an
>> intervening "hey" from Jack Handy's Deep Thoughts: "If you ever fall
>> off the Sears tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like
>> a dummy, and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy."

>> A commenter also provides examples from more than three centuries ago,
>> but as the commenter notes, "The modern constructions are almost
>> certainly reinventions rather than continuations of the older ones":

>> "Bitterness comes very near to Enmity, and that is Beelzebub; because
>> the Perfection of Wickedness." (because NP) – Some Fruits of Solitude,
>> 1682

>> "This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die,
>> yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present,
>> because immortal." (because ADJ) – More Fruits of Solitude, 1702

> I'd accept the last one (because ADJ) because "because" is just part of
> that adjectival phrase. "Except" could be used in the same way.

I think the one before it is the same, with a non-standard semicolon
where we would have a comma, and I suspect the 1996 "because
circumstances" was a slip.

The other examples don't seem just "quotative", as Nathan put it, but
exclamatory: "wow, advanced" and "hey, free dummy" emphasise this by
starting with an exclamation, and in Mark's xkcd example with "but" the
spelling ("caaancer") serves the same function; and I can see "because
bacon" being spoken as "because, bacon!"

It does make an interesting parallel to "I was all ...". The
subordinate blurt.

Jerry Friedman

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Aug 24, 2013, 11:12:58 AM8/24/13
to
On Friday, August 23, 2013 3:21:06 PM UTC-6, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> In article <ea62e062-dffd-4c17...@googlegroups.com>,
> Jerry Friedman <jerry_f...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > On Friday, August 23, 2013 1:22:25 PM UTC-6, Nathan Sanders wrote:
...

> > > Unsurprisingly, Language Log has discussed this very phenomenon:
>
> > > <http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4068>
>
> > > In the comments, there is an example from 1996 ("Because
> > > circumstances. I was just lucky, really"),
>
> > I'd say that's different--it's just a missing "of".
>
> It's hard to tell. 1996 does seem a bit early (that's pre-Buffy!),
> but it definitely goes back to the early 2000s, so it's not impossible
> for it to have existed in print a few years before that.


Okay, let's see. In the "because liberty" and "because bacon"
construction, the elliptical syntax serves a rhetorical purpose;
it implies [*] "that's all that needs to be said". There's a
straightforward form in the bacon ads you quoted: "because bacon"
means "bacon is so wonderful that all that needs to be said is
'bacon' and you'll want to buy our baconiferous product, and you and
we can enjoy sharing this opinion." (This may seem somewhat
redundant, since the ad has already mentioned bacon, but carry on.)
There's an ironic form in polemical versions such as "because liberty",
where the verb sap means "they think that's all that needs to be
said". You've explained the "because bacon" you hear from your
students.

In "because circumstances", I don't see a "'nuff said" in the
omission of "of" (or whatever is omitted).

> > > us an example with an
> > > intervening "hey" from Jack Handy's Deep Thoughts: "If you ever fall
> > > off the Sears tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like
> > > a dummy, and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy."
>
> > That, I'd say, is a quotative. It's the same as "...people will try to
> > catch you, because they'll be all like 'Hey, free dummy.'" The ones
> > under discussion also seem rather quotative, but they also have a
> > conspicuous elision of what's being "quoted" to emphasize the
> > buzzwordness of the noun.
>
> I agree that this example feels somewhat different from the "because
> bacon" examples, but I can also see a natural evolution from one to
> the other, so I think this probably does represent a point in the
> lineage of the current form, rather than a completely independent
> construction.

I think it feels different because there's no "'nuff said", and I
think the natural evolution is at least partly because they're both
quotative--not that I have any evidence for that.

[*] Feel free to change "implies" to a correct linguistic term if
it isn't one.

--
Jerry Friedman

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 24, 2013, 12:02:15 PM8/24/13
to
In article <6823f679-262e-4dad...@googlegroups.com>,
"Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote:

> On Saturday, August 24, 2013 1:49:33 AM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:
>
> > [5] Here, "because bacon" means something along the lines of "because
> > bacon is so awesome that it has turned vegans into devoted carnivores
> > and brought burly men to tears of joy when they find it in their
> > sandwich, amen and hallelujah, forever and ever, til death do us part,
> > so of course it's a popular choice for NOUN".
>
> You said that before. Many things, however, are "awesome."

Name anything awesomer than bacon!

> Why single out bacon?

Because bacon, duh!

Nathan

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 24, 2013, 5:38:10 PM8/24/13
to
On Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:02:15 PM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> In article <6823f679-262e-4dad...@googlegroups.com>,
> "Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote:
> > On Saturday, August 24, 2013 1:49:33 AM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:
>
> > > [5] Here, "because bacon" means something along the lines of "because
> > > bacon is so awesome that it has turned vegans into devoted carnivores
> > > and brought burly men to tears of joy when they find it in their
> > > sandwich, amen and hallelujah, forever and ever, til death do us part,
> > > so of course it's a popular choice for NOUN".
>
> > You said that before. Many things, however, are "awesome."
>
> Name anything awesomer than bacon!

Matzoh ball soup.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 24, 2013, 5:39:49 PM8/24/13
to
Jack Handey had a style all his own, so it isn't right to lump him in
with the current phenomenon. Just one of his "Deep Thoughts" can't be
isolated from the collection.

His first novel is about to be published; excerpts were read on the NPR
program *Studio 360* over a series of episodes this summer.

http://www.studio360.org/search/?q=jack+handey#q=jack handey

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 24, 2013, 5:59:07 PM8/24/13
to
In article <132531ec-3bc6-4605...@googlegroups.com>,
"Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote:

> On Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:02:15 PM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> > In article <6823f679-262e-4dad...@googlegroups.com>,
> > "Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote:
> > > On Saturday, August 24, 2013 1:49:33 AM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> >
> > > > [5] Here, "because bacon" means something along the lines of "because
> > > > bacon is so awesome that it has turned vegans into devoted carnivores
> > > > and brought burly men to tears of joy when they find it in their
> > > > sandwich, amen and hallelujah, forever and ever, til death do us part,
> > > > so of course it's a popular choice for NOUN".
> >
> > > You said that before. Many things, however, are "awesome."
> >
> > Name anything awesomer than bacon!
>
> Matzoh ball soup.

That is pretty awesome, but "your argument is invalid, because matzoh
ball soup" isn't quite punchy enough. Probably the extra syllables
and the lack of alliteration.

Harvey

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Aug 24, 2013, 6:26:17 PM8/24/13
to
O>> On Saturday, August 24, 2013 1:49:33 AM UTC-4, Nathan Sanders
wrote:
>>

>
> Name anything awesomer than bacon!

The gravy my wife makes when we have roast lamb. No contest.

--
Cheers,
Harvey

Garrett Wollman

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Aug 24, 2013, 6:31:40 PM8/24/13
to
In article <sanders-9C3E4D...@news.eternal-september.org>,
Having had both, and with apologies to those observing dietary
restrictions[1], I'd have to say that bacon is awesomer than matzoh
ball soup (even when homemade, by someone's actual Jewish mother).

-GAWollman
(Having just checked Nathan's CV, it appears that I am no longer the
youngest person regularly posting in this newsgroup. Yay?)

[1] I'd say that my Jewish friends are about evenly split on the
question. I don't have enough Muslim friends to say one way or the
other.[2] And I've certainly had friends tell me that bacon was the
thing they missed more than any other meat when living in a vegetarian
household.

[2] n = 2, at least among those people I've discussed religious
matters with. The local Stop&Shop supermarket here carries a brand
which describes itself as "Canada's Best Halal" -- you'd think that
there would be enough U.S. Muslims to not have to import it.
--
Garrett A. Wollman | What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft
wol...@bimajority.org| repeated, than the story of a large research program
Opinions not shared by| that impaled itself upon a false central assumption
my employers. | accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993

Nathan Sanders

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Aug 24, 2013, 7:01:45 PM8/24/13