Reason is Because

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, USA Today, January 3, 2008, talking about his victory in the Iowa Caucuses: I think sometimes the reason that our campaign is catching fire, Huckabee said in Burlington, is because people had rather elect a president who reminds him of the guy they work with — not the guy that laid them off.

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.

Sherry

Sherry’s Grammar List and Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

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