Since You Asked…

“I write because nobody listens” seems to fit the bill for the writers of the world.

We find that our voices may seem small, or go unnoticed, until we put the pen to paper. Once our thoughts escape our minds, pass over our mouths, travel to our hands, and become written words, the world seems to pay attention—or, if you’re an editor, a plethora of attention.

The trouble is when the world of spoken speech mingles with the world of written language. The easy-flowing, relaxed spoken word, riddled with colloquialisms and slang can blur the lines on the page of the written word. Even the most adept writers have a hard time deprogramming their allegiance to “you get my meaning” phrases. One of the most common instances of blending the two worlds is the use of since in place of because.

Since is a word used to express a length of time that has passed, and because is a word used to express causation.

In spoken language, the colloquial use of since in the place of because is accepted and widely practiced. However, in written language, this same usage can muddle the meaning of your language. Take the phrase, for example, “because you asked, I have changed.” Now, insert since in place of because, and the sentence’s meaning changes.

“Since you asked, I have changed.” This sentence now describes the speaker’s action from the time from which you asked rather than describing the causal action of the asking.

Words matter, because nobody listens.

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