Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 12:24:30 -0500 From: "David A. Johns" Subject: Re: pragmatic change in progress? At 10:55 PM 11/21/97 -0500, Ron Butters wrote: > I had a lot of trouble getting my students to focus on the meaning > differences between WELL and WHY in these environments. Though they > understood the differences, they kept saying, "But nobody under age 50 would > ever use WHY in that way--only old people talk that way!" This was not the > answer I expected. Has anybody else had this reaction from students about WHY > in this usage? What are the reactions of y'all? Is there a change in progress > here? I'm 54, and I'm sure I've never used "why" this way except when conciously imitating someone else's style. I perceive it as both older generation and predominately female. Instead of "why" I'd use either "of course" or an intonation pattern that indicates "I'm surprised you asked". David Johns Waycross College Waycross, GA 31501 djohns[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]