Because vs. since
James Kilpatrick's language column this week deals with since vs. because. He leads with:
Let it be conceded, up front and without a single quibble, that "since" can function as a conjunction meaning "inasmuch as" or "because." Thus, it is permissible to say, "Since we ran out of Scotch, we'll have to drink gin." The New World Dictionary provides a less interesting example: "Since you are finished, let's go."But because is often more clear than since because since's primary definition has to do with time.
(Last week's column, which I failed to mention here, was on creating new words.)