The Wherefore of Style

My Hebrew teacher back on the kibbutz, Rachel Spitzer, explained to us that Hebrew had one “why” word to ask about purpose and another one to ask about underlying cause.  “Aha!” I thought, and I ran to the Internet — after a technical delay of thirty-five years — to check my theory that in English the same distinction properly separates “why” and “wherefore.”  No such luck.  No clean distinction in the King James Bible, and no clean distinction in the dictionary.

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