Re: since vs. because

Subject: Re: since vs. because
From: Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH1 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 1994 07:38:38 MST

>Lisa Steinberg wrote:

> *Since* is often used to mean "because": *Since you ask, I'll tell you.*
> Its primary meaning, however, relates to time: *I've been waiting since
> noon.* To avoid confusion, some writers prefer to use *since* only in
> contexts involving time. If you do use *since* in both senses, watch out
> for ambiguous constructions, such as *Since you left, my life is empty*,
> where *since* could mean either "because" or "ever since."

> I stick to making sure I use "since" only when I'm writing in reference
> to some time-frame. If someone else would like to share a reference to
> this issue as they can find in any of the style guides out there (I don't
> have any guides of my own...yet), feel free to do so!


Your explanation of the difference between since and because
was great. It's clear and coincides with all of my references.
One of my references (course materials from an excellent Effective
Writing course I attended w-a-y back in 1981 given by the Communications
Skills Co., Huntsville, AL) offers this additional information regarding

"But here is something you should remember about 'since': when
the word means "because," the clause it begins is always set off
with a comma or pair of commas.

*Since* nobody seemed interested, we did not continue.
We soon decided to leave, *since* nobody seemed interested.
We soon decided, *since* nobody objected, that we should
drop the subject."

Compare second example: "We soon decided to leave because
nobody seemed interested."

Beverly Parks
bparks -at- huachuca-emh1 -dot- army -dot- mil

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