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I encountered with these sentences :

No work tomorrow because holidays!  Of course evolution is true, because science.

"BECAUSE + NOUN" is a new usage to me. I think 'because' has been used here as a preposition. Could you please explain this usage?

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    It is the short form of “because of.” collinsdictionary.com/it/dizionario/inglese/because-of – user121863 May 5 at 13:28
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    Your example is ungrammatical in Standard English, since in this case the preposition "because" requires a PP complement headed by "of", i.e. "because of the holidays". – BillJ May 5 at 14:20
  • I don't think OP's (I think, he is an Indian like me), example without 'of' is spoken much in India. It has always been 'because of...' May be I haven't come across it. – Ram Pillai May 5 at 14:39
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    I've heard that usage (putting 'because' before whatever) for about a decade or more. First, in the form of a 'dialogue'. - Why? - Because shut up! I know noun =/= imperative, but the idea seems similar. If I were to parse the structure, I'd say it's nothing to do with 'because of'. Rather, it is an ellipsis of '...because there is sth like/you need to take into account the...' – Jules Cocovin May 5 at 14:47
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    At the moment - because coronavirus. – Michael Harvey May 5 at 16:31
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Well, here's an article in The Atlantic from as far back as 2013. It suggested that this use of "because" as a preposition had already become common even then. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/11/english-has-a-new-preposition-because-internet/281601/

At the same time, the Cambridge Dictionary acknowledges the prepositional use of the word "because" only when it's accompanied by "of". https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/grammar/british-grammar/because-because-of-and-cos-cos-of. The same goes for Merriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/because#learn-more.

I have to admit that I haven't heard "because" used this way. I may have seen it in texts or short emails and not noticed it, because I expect people to be sloppy when they are typing on their phones and in a rush. But if someone had used it in a conversation, I would have noticed.

It may be frequently used now, but as a native speaker, it sounds jarring to me. The Atlantic article's author, Megan Garber, approves of the development, as do the various writers she quotes. The main reasons seem to be economy of words and the slight ironic tinge that the usage conveys, because it hints that the speaker is subtly making fun of "textbook" grammar.

If you prefer sticking to "textbook" English, you won't want to use the expression. On the other hand, if you enjoy "commonly used" constructions that are evolving, then this one seems to be in that category. You might, however, want to avoid it in formal conversations or documents.

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  • Of course, in my enthusiasm, I made the mistake of not searching for duplicates before posting this answer. There are several questions on the site that relate to this one. Here's one that seems particularly relevant:english.stackexchange.com/questions/144778/… I think it may be interesting to go ahead and leave the answer here to see how people feel about this use of "because" with the passage of time. But if it's not appropriate to answer the question now, I'll be happy to take it down. – Isabel Archer May 5 at 13:52
  • It's certainly rising in frequency due to the popularity of informal settings such as social media. The most common use I have seen over the years is "because reasons", e.g. "we're not gonna do that... because reasons". – TylerH May 5 at 13:53
  • @TylerH, Wow, sounds like a parody of redundancy! Maybe that's why people like it. It makes me wonder whether people are still saying simply "because....", as they did for years. I'll have to listen for that. – Isabel Archer May 5 at 13:57
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    Much modern grammar classifies "because" as a preposition, an intransitive one, of course. Briefly, the rationale is that the subordinators ("to", "that", "for") are just meaningless grammatical markers of subordination, whereas most prepositions have independent meanings ("because", for example, expresses cause or reason). In Standard English "because holidays" is ungrammatical, since "because" requires a complement -- in this case it selects "of" as head of its PP complement. – BillJ May 5 at 14:31
  • It's become a sufficiently widespread phrase - a meme in the original sense - that Gretchen McCulloch titled her 2019 book about language and the internet Because Internet. – Colin Fine May 5 at 14:44
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This is slang/informal English, at least American English. It is simply shorthand for "because of", "because it is", etc.

No work tomorrow because holidays!

Just means "No work tomorrow because of holidays"

Of course evolution is true, because science.

Means "Of course evolution is true, because science has demonstrated it to be true"

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