An article on The Atlantic appears to be officially announcing that English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet and “Linguists are recognizing the delightful evolution of the word ‘because.'”
The word “because,” in standard English usage, is a subordinating conjunction, which means that it connects two parts of a sentence in which one (the subordinate) explains the other. In that capacity, “because” has two distinct forms. It can be followed either by a finite clause (I’m reading this because [I saw it on the web]) or by a prepositional phrase (I’m reading this because [of the web]). These two forms are, traditionally, the only ones to which “because” lends itself.
The article is totally reasonable in observing this thing that’s happening, but perhaps, with entirely too much accreditation and authority. Because the Daily Kos and Jezebel use it and a linguist with a WordPress blog and a linguist with a Tumblr wrote about it?
This grammatical canonization of “prepositional-because” is not literally; merely conversational. It’s not official.
IMHO, forcing “because” into a faux-updated version of pre-existing linguistic classification is rather silly. If anything, it’s a de-facto apostrophe — a word signaling the possible omission of words following it, for example, words only serving as grammatical links while carrying no contextual weight and details that could be reasonably assumed from the context with some prior topical exposure: There’s a tank crossing the street “Because Russia” is a place where shit like this happens. It can also signal omission of details for the purpose of meta-absurdity: Someone made a pet mini-drone “Because Art”-istic practice allows for whimsy, why not? Or, it can intentionally signal an omission that cannot be logically filled, as in the case of Bloomberg’s seasonal oppressive law-making, “Because Terrorism” — a non-specific but sentimental threat — is a ready and traumatically manipulative excuse for overbearing politics, without providing concrete reasons. AM I DOIN THIS RITE?
ANIMAL’s own resident expert Lewd Linguist was not available for comment because [he was busy doing linguistic research through his erotic encounters on the popular gay hook-up service] Manhunt.