Because of, due to, owing to, etc. (connotation trouble)

LeRenardReynaerde

Senior Member
Dutch - The Netherlands
Hello everybody,

I'm revising my translation of a (somewhat outdated) annual report of a Dutch football club and I have difficulties choosing the right conjunction for the following sentence:
Ajax has played fewer friendly matches and the Amsterdam tournament was cancelled in 1998/99 because of the Gay Games.
the entire paragraph:
Gate receipts turnover from Dutch leagues and friendly matches, however, dropped by NLG 2.9 million from NLG 7.2 million to NLG 4.3 million. Lower revenue from league and friendly matches explains this drop. Ajax has played fewer friendly matches and the Amsterdam tournament was cancelled in 1998/99 because of the Gay Games. Also the box office sales declined slightly.
My problem is that I find 'because of' a bit informal in this context and the easy translation and I can't make up my mind about the best alternative.

'Owing to' and 'due to' seems to fit very well, but have a negative connotation in my opinion. The example sentences from my monolingual dictionary are about cancelled flights due to heavy snow of projects that can't continue owing to a lack of funds. I'll wager that a board of directors would want to be politically correct and would avoid at all costs the implication that an once-only event for a minority caused poorer results, even if it was true.

I think 'as a result of' or 'on account of' are more neutral than 'owing/due to' and more formal than 'because of', but perhaps these imply some sort of active role of the gay games in the cancellation of the Amsterdam tournament. Or am I over analysing it?

So my question to all native speaker is whether my theory is right and more importantly, what they would use here. Other posibilties are also welcome.
 
  • bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    Well, I'm not so sure I share your concern about the negative connotation. In fact, I use all of them pretty much synonymously. But if you still worry that it may sound negative, how about changing it to something like: Ajax has played....was cancelled in 1998, when Amsterdam hosted the Gay Games.

    I would also say: Lower revenues (plural).....explain this drop. (from 'the entire paragraph')
     
    Last edited:

    LeRenardReynaerde

    Senior Member
    Dutch - The Netherlands
    Well, I'm not so sure I share your concern about the negative connotation. In fact, I would use all of them pretty much synonymously. But if you still worry that it may sound negative, how about changing it to something like: Ajax has played....was cancelled in 1998, when Amsterdam hosted the Gay Games.

    I would also say: Lower revenues (plural).....explain this drop. (from 'the entire paragraph')
    I know that nobody would start a lawsuit when 'due/owing to' is used, but being an perfectionist even when it is a bit irrelevant is a guilty pleasure of mine. ;)

    Thanks for your suggestion, avoiding the (non-existent) problem seems to work out perfectly for my translation!
    Also thanks for noticing the singular/plural mistake, I wasn't sure about that one either.
    Bicontinental has given you good advice. I frankly prefer because of and owing to over due to in most situations.
    Oh, that's interesting! What's wrong with due to? Or is it just a gut feeling?
     

    LeRenardReynaerde

    Senior Member
    Dutch - The Netherlands
    Yes. If you're not sure, use because or because of. Read the threads on the subject; there are plenty.
    I don't think that will be in issue. Thanks all the same, though.
    When due to means attributable to, it's fine. Some are critical of its use when used as a conjunctive adverb. I just avoid it altogether, but that's almost entirely from a style standpoint :)
    Right, thanks for the explanation!
     
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