English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

A friend of mine just posted this status on Facebook:

Decisions, decisions - schoolwork...watch olympics....schoolwork...watch olympics......?? Olympics is so going to win this dilemma haha especially SEEMS the gymnastics is on later!

I said surely she meant seeing as, not seems, (she's used this word in a similar way before). She replied:

‎'seems' is also grammatically correct - it is a synonym for 'because.' And 'seeing as' is actually an idiom and is no longer the preferred phraseology

Is she right?

share|improve this question
It seems to me this may be a novel use of the word, seeing as how "seems" is not normally used for "because". Could you give some indication of age and location? (There are tags "American-English" and "British-English" for example) – Andrew Leach Aug 1 '12 at 6:52
24, English but in New Zealand. Thanks for the reply :) – Rachel Aug 1 '12 at 7:02
I have no idea how to remove or report posts...can someone get rid of the vulgar reply please. – Rachel Aug 1 '12 at 7:29
When you tell her that she was wrong, also tell her about her punctuation. – asymptotically Aug 1 '12 at 9:38
@Noah Your edit looks very strange. It appears to be written by a person whose primary language is not English. The original sentence was fine. – MετάEd Aug 1 '12 at 15:12

Your friend is making two assertions; one seems unsubstantiated, and the other seems tenuous:

(#1) The word 'seems' is a synonym for 'because'
(#2) 'Seeing as' is no longer a preferred phraseology

The first assertion should be easily verifiable using a dictionary. However, after checking several on-line dictionaries, even the OED, I was unable to find any evidence that 'seems' could be used as a conjunction, or that the word 'seems' has some secondary or tertiary meaning along the lines of 'for the reason that'. Perhaps she was confusing 'since' with 'seems', since 'since' can be used that way.

Olympics is so going to win this dilemma haha especially since the gymnastics is on later!

As for assertion #2, it's hard to tell what "preferred phraseology" means; however, I did find one dictionary that mentioned 'seeing as' is a more informal form of 'seeing that'. And, using Google's Ngrams to look at the trend line, you can see that 'seeing that' is more often used than 'seeing as' – but there's no evidence that the phrase is falling out of favor (in fact, it seems to be trending upward since 1990). Perhaps more significantly, no instances of 'especially seems the' were found.

enter image description here

I would say that you are right, and she is wrong – but I'd avoid gloating, especially if you wanted to remain friends.

share|improve this answer

Actually, she is incorrect. Your vindication is at hand, for I, a stranger on the internet, will help you! :D

In all seriousness, she is very incorrect. The word "seems" is used to define an object based on, either because of or in spite of, previously existing information.

For example

It seems like bananas are tastier than I previously assumed. OR Especially because it seems like the gymnastics will be on later!

"Because" is used to define an objects current state of being in relation to the state of being of another object or due to a preexisting condition. Be and cause are combined, the operative portion being "cause", they come together to mean that something else is the cause.

For Example

This banana tastes bad because I don't like bananas. OR Especially because the gymnastics is on later!

"Seems" is also used to express suspicion.

For Example

Your friend is wrong, so it seems.

"Seeing as" would be a much more appropriate term, as it is, indeed, synonymous with "because". Also, you could use "considering", "when", or, perhaps, "because".

I hope this wasn't too long, and I sincerely hope this helps.

share|improve this answer

protected by RegDwigнt Aug 1 '12 at 8:54

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.