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Why...

Posted by Nicole on November 08, 2002

I've heard many people use the word 'why' in cases where, in my opinion, it is not actually needed. For instance, if you ask a person if they have a pen that you could borrow, they might reply with "Why, yes I do." What's the point in saying 'why'? Is it like you're asking why they want to know, and then you reply anyway? I hope some one can clarify this for me. Thank you.