Lexicon Valley

To Reason Why

There’s more than one way to ask why. How come? What for?

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Episode Notes

Both How come? and What for? can be used to ask why, but native English speakers often employ them in subtly different ways. There’s a similar distinction in Russian, which has more than one word for why, depending on the context.

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo.

About the Show

If you’ve ever had curious thoughts and questions about the ways we speak, read, and write, Lexicon Valley is the show for you. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

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