Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Superstitions (7)

Today: “Never Use ‘since’ to Mean ‘because.'” o “There is a groundless notion current both in the lower schools and in the world of affairs that ‘since’ has an exclusive reference to time and therefore cannot be used as a causal conjunction. . . . No warrant exists for avoiding this usage, which goes back, beyond Chaucer, to Anglo-Saxon.” Wilson Follett, Modern American Usage 305 (1966). o “It is a delusion that ‘since’ may be used only as an adverb in a temporal sense (‘We have been here since ten o’clock’). It is also a causal conjunction meaning ‘for’ or ‘because’: ‘Since it is raining, we had better take an umbrella.'” Roy H. Copperud, American Usage and Style: The Consensus 349 (1980). See GMAU, “as (A).” Next: Four More. For more information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “One cannot help wondering whether those who teach such a monstrous doctrine ever read any English themselves.” Charles Allen Lloyd, We Who Speak English: And Our Ignorance of Our Mother Tongue 19 (1938).
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