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Per vs Because of

Per vs Because of

Per vs Because of

I always hear engineers start their aruguments to a question with "Per the bad test data results, we'll have to run it again."

Although "per" is a preposition, it is often misused because the term is shorter than because of.

By Webster's definition, because of means "on account of" while per means "by the agency of; for, to, or by each; according to."

You wouldn't say "Per the rainy weather, we had to cancel our picnic."  But, you would still say, "Per our phone conversation,..."

I can't tell you how many times I've been corrected on this, and I find myself correcting others now.  Basically, if you can say "On account of..." in place of per, then use because of.


For some pleasure reading, try FAQ731-376

RE: Per vs Because of


I hate that as well. I see it all the time on prints and specifications as "detail per specification so-and-so". Drives me nuts. How about "In accordance with" or the TLA IAW.

Best regards,

Matthew Ian Loew
"Luck is the residue of design."
Branch Rickey

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Per vs Because of

       Altough I'm Italian and I work and live in Italy, I often speak and, more often, write in English (specifications, test procedures and reports, and so on...).  
       We Italians are always tempted to overuse the word "per", as in Italian it has a more general meaning than in English: it can be said that it is the same of "for" in English (and so that's a sort of "false friend"...).

       It can be observed that, originally, in Latin "per" was used to express (both in literal and figurative senses) motion across, through somewhere or something, it meant something like "through".

       When writing in English, I usually utilize "per" in two meanings only:

              -     as a synonimous of "in accordance with",  "according to" as mentioned above [because it's shorter and... I tend to mix up  "with" and  "to" !], but always togheter with  "as" :  e.g.  "As per the relevant standard..." ,  "As per the above para. 3.1..." ;

        -    in the units of measure and to express a distribution as a synonimous of "every",  "each": e.g. "Miles per Hour..." ,  "1 ml/min per inch of valve diameter..." .     

Bye to all,            'NGL

RE: Per vs Because of

MLoew - It sounds like you are in a minority objecting to the useage "detail per specification so-and-so"

I use it all the time. I could say "in accordance with", but if "per" get's the job done, I like it better for the sake of brevity.

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RE: Per vs Because of

from Merriam-Webster for per:

1 : by the means or agency of : THROUGH <per bearer>
2 : with respect to every member of a specified group : for each
3 : according to -- often used with as <per instructions> <as per usual>

So definition 3 is in accordance with common usage


RE: Per vs Because of

I think I have may have been mistaken when I started this thread.

Funny how I heard it to remind of the misuse.

The actual comparison that I want to compare is "due to" vs "because of."  Rarely should one start a sentence with "Due to..." but it happens all the time.  Happens so often that I forget when it is not appropriate and confuse it with something else.


For some pleasure reading, try FAQ731-376

RE: Per vs Because of


We had a report writing class WAY back when (is it ok to talk this way here??) where the professor said, "don't due it" I mean, "don't do it" i.e. don't start a sentence by saying (writing actually) "Due to" rather say, "As a result of"  I suppose "as a result of" does roll of the tongue a little cleaner or just sounds a little more professional.

Does 40 years hence qualify for way back when?

Jesus is THE life,

RE: Per vs Because of

"Due to" doesn't bug me, it is obvious what is meant. To be honest I don't really object to "Because of X and Y we decided to do Z"

Sure it breaks a rule, but it sounds natural. I think the speaker is trying to emphasise the problems they had, rather than the intended course of action.


Greg Locock

RE: Per vs Because of

I don't know metman, you'll have to check with Mr. Peabody on that one.  Assuming you recognize that reference from "way back when."


For some pleasure reading, try FAQ731-376

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