reason…because

TaraThe frequent use of reason with because makes me crazy. I am grateful that I came across several examples of this grammatical error in the The Law of Attraction, by best-selling authors Esther and Jerry Hicks. I enjoy their books very much, and hope my nit-picking doesn’t offend them.

Here’s the first example:

If you could realize that the reason your thought about your “unworthiness” feels so bad is because that thought is in utter disagreement with the way your Inner Being feels, you might then seek to improve the direction of your thought.

The definition of because is “the reason that.” Literally, the sentence above means this:

If you could realize that the reason your thought about your “unworthiness” feels so bad is the reason that that thought is in utter disagreement with the way your Inner Being feels, you might then seek to improve the direction of your thought.

Here’s another example:

The reason so many of you are drawn to subjects of indeliberate intent is because you do not have deliberate intent.

Translation:

The reason so many of you are drawn to subjects of indeliberate intent is the reason that you do not have deliberate intent.

It’s nonsense, and it’s easy to fix. One option is to replace because with that:

If you could realize that the reason your thought about your “unworthiness” feels so bad is that that thought is in utter disagreement with the way your Inner Being feels, you might then seek to improve the direction of your thought.

Since the repetition of that is awkward, a better option for this sentence is to delete reason:

If you could realize that your thought about your “unworthiness” feels so bad because it is in utter disagreement with the way your Inner Being feels, you might then seek to improve the direction of your thought.

The same options apply to the other example:

The reason so many of you are drawn to subjects of indeliberate intent is that you do not have deliberate intent.

Or this:

Many of you are drawn to subjects of indeliberate intent because you do not have deliberate intent.

For a detailed grammatical explanation of the pitfalls of using reason and because together, check out Get It Write.

One more gripe, before I close for the day. Take a look at this sentence:

That is the reason why beliefs are transmitted so easily from parent to child.

Using reason and why together is redundant. Here are two cleaner options:

That is the reason beliefs are transmitted so easily from parent to child.

That is why beliefs are transmitted so easily from parent to child.

For more free writing tips, guidelines, and articles, visit Treasurefield Communications.

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About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
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