because can be followed by a finite clause:
I left him because [he sold my prize-winning armadillo].
It can be followed by a prepositional phrase:
I left him because [of his unbearable stench].
But a non-standard usage is gaining wider and wider acceptance, namelybecause+noun (often a proper noun):
I can’t come out tonight because Skyrim.
This isn’t a straight nonstandard equivalent to the other uses - it’s different. It means something like ‘I’m so busy being totally absorbed by X that I don’t need to explain further, and you should know about this because it’s a completely valid incredibly important thing to be doing’. This page is all posts that were tagged with #because Skyrim.
But has a similar use (taken from the same Tumblr page):
Okay I’d totally love to read my dash and everything but Skyrim.
I like it.
I think there may be some restrictions on which nouns are possible in this construction. For example, while I think it’s fine to say:
I can’t come out tonight because homework/math.
I can’t come out tonight because essays/readings.
I can’t come out tonight because busyness.
I don’t think it works to say:
*I can’t come out tonight because too much/lots of/difficult homework.
*I can’t come out tonight because essay/my essay/an essay/this essay.
*I can’t come out tonight because busy.
So it seems like the because+noun construction really must consist of a bare noun, not a noun with a determiner or an adjective. However, I think I might be able to be okay with:
?I can never get to bed at a reasonable hour because interesting people on the internet!
Also, I think the title “because reasons” may be an even more specialized version of this use, actually. Because you can paraphrase “I can’t come out tonight because Skyrim/homework” as “I can’t come out tonight because OF Skyrim/homework”, but I don’t think “I don’t like him because reasons” paraphrases well as “I don’t like him because OF reasons”.
Agree with everything except the last one - I think you can paraphrase as because of reasons. To me, sounds the same. But I’m 30, so what do I know about internet speak :)
With regards to the last one, “because reasons” is actually a paraphrase of “because of reasons” which originated because of this comic:
To me “because of reasons” makes more sense than “because reasons” because you would need the preposition and the noun. On the internet, though, I think the genuine rule is “the less grammatical sense we make, the more we are able to drive home the idea that we have been driven to the point of incoherency by our overwhelming emotions/desires etc.”
I hadn’t seen that comic before, so that’s cool! But I think the point of the last panel is that monocle-guy is so overwhelmed that he isn’t even using a standard construction in “because of reasons”.
I think that for “because of reasons” and “because reasons” I can only say them with heavy emphasis on “reasons” which is why I think of them as marked. So while I can say some words in this construction with or without emphasis, that’s not the case for “reasons”.
I can’t go out tonight because of HOMEWORK/homework, which is really annoying.
I can’t go out tonight because of REASONS/*reasons, which is really annoying.
It sounds especially weird when I put several words after it.
Update: Where “because noun” probably came from.