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With all this "due to/because of" dispute, a long forgotten rule from my 6th grade English teacher comes back to my mind: Never start a sentence with the conjunction "because"! (or about so it was)

So he considered a sentence like "Because I woke up too late, I did not catch my train." to be incorrect and it should be written as "As I woke up too late, I did not catch my train." BTW he teached us pure (Oxfordian?) BrE, but nowadays my English is closer to AmE, I think.

Was this rule nonsense? Or is there something to know about "because" as first word? (And not to be mixed up with the adv. phrase "because of".)
Comments  
We would have to discard a great deal of BrE prose and poetry if the rule were strictly applied, Eagle!

'Because I liked you better
Than suits a man to say...'

'Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust none; and the fine is, for the which I may go the finer, I will live a bachelor.'

'Because you have thrown off your Prelate, Lord,
And with stiff vows renounced his liturgy...'

– to pick three examples from Housman, Shakespeare, and Milton wholly at random.

And what do we do with:

'Because I said so!' – to the child who questions why he has to go to bed.

But I'm sure your teacher had a good reason for saying so; perhaps someone else knows what it is. As you say, there may be a useful 'caveat' behind the rule.

(I'm not sure those Oxonians always speak the purest English, by the way. The Midlands air sometimes affects their vowels adversely.)

MrP
Hello guys!

Personally I like "Since ..." for stating the reason at head.
"Because ..." sounds too strong and "As ...." too weak.

paco
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I remember hearing that rule, eagle.
But I scrapped it long ago, as sentences starting with 'Because...' were ubiquitous.

I just surmise that the logic behind the outdated rule is that a speaker is not considered
thoughtful of the listener or reader, if s/he starts a sentence with 'Because,' a forceful opener.
If the speaker does, it's like putting the listener momentarily in perplexity or shock, creating a bombshell-dropping mood. In light of this, people of eagle's teacher's day seemed to have preferred to avoid fronting 'Because' in order not to give the listener the out-of-the-blueness.
Generations before us were, I believe, more considerate of others.

These days, however, because people have been exposed to a whole lot of the unspeakable, unconceivable, unexpected, etc, they have become more hardened or callous, thus less considerate of others (on the part of the speaker), and at the same time, less easily affected by the rough opener (on the part of the listener). This trend has contributed to the demise of the old rule, I think. I find myself giggling at my own theory.
My opinion is that the ruling was against a common practice of the more poorly educated: starting a new sentence with 'because' when the thesis is in the preceding sentence, like this:

X 'I don't like sushi. Because it is raw fish.'

This occurs far too often among students, both native and ESL.
Ah yes. And prime ministers. And terse. Stark. Jobbing. Journalists.

'I don't like sushi. Because it is raw fish. Fish that is raw. Uncooked. Untransformed. Untamed. The cooked and the raw. At the one end of the spectrum: Leonardo. At the other: sushi. West and East. Never to meet. Not, at least, over sushi...'

Or some such stuff.

MrP
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'Because...,...' is useful where a dull or well-known fact is the cause of an odd or little-known effect:

1. Because the Queen has to say 'we' in the first person singular, she also has her own reflexive personal pronoun: 'ourself'.

I suppose this is unemphatic fronting.

MrP