Re. Because and since

Subject: Re. Because and since
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 1995 09:03:04 LCL

Kim Ferri asked about "because" and "since". Kim,
there are two main reasons we were taught not to
start a sentence with "because": this is a common
source of sentence fragments and the like
("Because I said so.") and because doing so places
the explanatory clause before the condition it
explains. The first is a problem; the second is
often trivial, particularly if the explanatory
clause is short.

You should generally reserve "since" for phrases
concerning time, but to be fair, using it as a
synonym for because is so common that this may be
an issue only to editors. I can't offhand think of
any situation where readers might mistake the time
sense for the explanatory sense and misunderstand
you, but I'm sure such sentences exist. Watch for
them, but otherwise, don't worry too much about
replacing all sinces with becauses.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one
of our reports, it don't represent FERIC's

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