The article is actually entitled “Why Is There No Liberal Ayn Rand?” but the wording for Facebook is “How come there isn’t a liberal version of Ayn Rand?”

Why did it become so popular to substitute the wonderfully short, terse, succinct, perfect word  “why” with “how come” and how do we make it stop?

Questions about why

Every time I see something with a “how come” to it, I want to start screaming WHY? The word you are looking for is WHY! Please stop with the idiotic use of how come.

Is it supposed to “enhance” one’s intellectual standing in some way by using a “big” phrase instead of the correct simple word? I know people who write using large words so that perhaps they may sound better educated. It is always scary when they are trying so hard and yet use an inappropriate word in place of what a truly literate person would use. But that’s a different issue.

The reportorial list of Five Ws is just that.

Who?

What?

Where?

When?

Why?

There aren’t Four Ws and One H. There is no how come on the list. It isn’t there because it is really poor usage.

Did it start when we told our three-year-olds to stop pestering us and quit asking “Why?” every three to five seconds? Did it start because we are anti-intellectual in this country, perhaps as a way to feel better about our poor scholastic standing in the industrialized world? How come Why is this happening?

I think I can stop now. I hope so. I don’t know why I finally took the time to actually write about this today, but perhaps I can help even one poor soul who will stop using how come when they are asking why.

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