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Well, what if I make the drinks and you charge us your price on account of because we can mix the drinks we are mixing. (from the book Call Me by Your Name)

How to understand the structure "on account of because," in which both mean the same thing?

I think omitting either "on account of" or "because" can work.

Is it for some literary effect?

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  • Bad editing: on account of OR because
    – Lambie
    Feb 20, 2021 at 17:37
  • Not "bad editing" at all - the very next sentence refers to the waiter’s garbled speech, which is what's being presented flippantly for the sake of humour. Feb 20, 2021 at 18:54

1 Answer 1

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Oliver (the speaker) is making fun of the waiter. The context makes this clear:

The waiter told us that we could either have wine or beer; the bartender had left earlier that evening, on account of because his mother was taken gravely ill to the hospital where she had to be taken. Everyone smothered a laugh at the waiter’s garbled speech. Oliver asked what they charged for martinis. The waiter yelled the question to the girl at the cash register. She told him how much. “Well, what if I make the drinks and you charge us your price on account of because we can mix the drinks we are mixing?”

Since the waiter's speech is garbled, when Oliver asks him about mixing the martinis, he himself garbles the syntax of his question. It is deliberately ungrammatical and redundant, to match the waiter's own ungrammatical and redundant speech earlier.

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