A few years ago, Miss Manners column in the newspaper included a letter from a woman who stated that her mother would always correct her when she said, "How come". The mother insisted this was colloquial and one should properly say "why" instead. This came as a shock to me since I had been saying "How come" my entire (admittedly middle-class) life.
The funny thing is, arguing against the use of "How-comes" is fighting a losing battle. The most commonly heard one is, "If we can put a man on the moon, HOW COME we can't...?
Our lives are full of How-comes when you think about it. Like, how come:
-there are always a dozen guys standing around doing nothing at road construction sites?
-cooking shows always use exotic ingredients you would never have on hand? (goat cheese, arugula, fresh raspberries and Balsamic vinegar...really!)
-our outside image ages so much faster than our self-image? (Who is that old lady in the mirror?)
-we can never quite reach our own expectations? (If only I had tried harder.)
You can probably come up with much better How-comes. Let me know your favorites.
(PS-Breckenridge escaped the flooding and all is well. Thanks for all your well-wishes.)
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