The Bright Blue Marble




"The reason is that" not "The reason is because"

Incorrect: The reason I am late is because I had an accident.

Correct: The reason I am late is that I had an accident.

Why? Because an adverbial clause (a word or group of words answering the question "How?" When?" "Where?" Why?" or "To what degree?") cannot be used as a predicate nominative (a noun or pronoun or a group of words used as a noun or pronoun and answering the question "What?" or "Who?").

Example:

Incorrect: Scarlett O'Hara's dirtiest trick was when she lured Frank Kennedy into marrying her.

Correct: Scarlett O'Hara's dirtiest trick was luring Frank Kennedy into marrying her. (A gerund, or a verbal noun, phrase can be used as a predicate nominative.)

 

Redundancy:

Though many redundancies look like unique ones -- the result of semiconscious writing -- some are so commonplace that they've been all but enshrined in the language. Adept editors must be alert to such phrases as "absolute necessity," "actual fact," "advance planning," "basic fundamentals," "brief respite," "closely scrutinize," "collaborate together," "completely full," "consensus of opinion," "entirely eliminate," "few in number," "free gift," "future plans," "interact with each other," "mix together," "new innovation," "pair of twins," "pause for a moment," "reelected for another term," "refer back," "still continues to," "surrounded on all sides," "temporary reprieve," and "unfilled vacancy."

 

Reason is because is a redundancy.  Because already means for the reason that, and some dictionaries also say that it means due to the fact that (although we could argue about the grammatical convolution of that one), so The reason that our campaign is catching fire is becausemeans The reason that our campaign is catching fire is for the reason that…. or The reason that our campaign is catching fire is due to the fact that…. Is there an echo in here?

Both are clearly redundant. You should be asking the reason is what, not the reason is why.

The correct construction is The reason that our campaign is catching fire is that people had rather elect a president… (You could also re-write the sentence to Our campaign is catching fire because people had rather elect a president….)

We all know that—as they’ve proven time and time again— the accuracy of language doesn’t count when it comes to politicians. If it did, then the world would be a different place—we might actually have some of those things that we’re promised during political campaigns. Until that happens, I’m at least going to hold politicians accountable for their improper use of language and grammar.

The phrases "with respect to" and "in respect of" are usually best replaced by single prepositions. E.g.:

o "Clinton . . . has continued to enjoy stronger support from women than men even with respect to [read 'in'] the Paula Jones case." Susan Estrich, "Will Clinton Stoop to Conquer?" Denver Post, 5 June 1997, at B11.

o "Notices stating the action taken in respect of [read 'against' or 'on'] each licensee have been placed on the Consumer Credit Public Register." "Mortgage Lenders Warned by OFT," Fin. Times, 29 June 1995, at 8.