I sometimes encounter the phrase 'on account of' in conjunction with a simple declarative phrase, as in the example from J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye: "He'd written me this note asking me to stop by and say good-by before vacation started, on account of I wasn't coming back."

Is this grammatical or technically incorrect? Could it be a regional or temporal idiosyncrasy?


"On account of" is a rather long-winded way of saying "because", normally followed by a noun, as in "We were late, on account of a train-strike." So strictly, I guess that clause ought to be "on account of the fact that I wasn't coming back", which would be even more long-winded. But in informal speech, it's fine.


Wiktionary actually covers this usage:

on account of

(idiomatic) Because of, due to, owing to.   (idiomatic) For the sake of.

(regional, idiomatic) Because.

(US, colloquial) On account of the fact that: because, since.

I'd say that the tags 'regional' / 'US, colloquial' identify the because/since usage as non-standard in the UK, and as not used generally in formal registers in the US.

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