Who, What, When, Where, Why?
~by D.A. Stanley 2/22/2012

The typical method of inquiry. Why is always at the end because in any given situation, why takes the most thought. The first four are straight hard facts and do the job of describing the situation. I have two theories as to why WHY is at the end of this method.


My first hypothesis is just how any beings brain or synapse works. Our senses are the first things to register in an event. The senses recognize the Who, What, When, and Where of the event. Why is an after thought.

-Marty's (who) car was damaged (what) at 3:00 (when) in the north lot (where). his car was damaged because there was basketball size hail at that time and Marty did not want to park in the paid but covered lot today (why).-


This situation would make much less sense if we were to take into account the WHY before anything else. Say we were to call the police with this incident. The above statement would most likely be the proper or best way to describe what happened. If reversed so that WHY the event happened was the first thing said to the police, it would read like this:


"This is the police department"

"Marty didn't want to park in the covered paid lot today officer!"

"Ookay, what are you reporting?"

"Well we had basketball sized hail today so, and he parked in the north lot today."

"So what happened in the north lot today?"

" At about 3:00 it started hailing."

"Sir, if you don't get to the point I will have to hang up, we have many more important things that may be called in. Is anyone hurt or is there any emergency?"

"oh no, Marty's car was just damaged by the hail."

"Well sir I suggest Marty contact his insurance agent, we'll send a patrol to check up withing the next few hours."


-see at the end here the officer would be so fed up with having to pull teeth to get any relevant information that civility is nearly cast out the window and the officer just wants to get off the phone with this guy, besides the fact that reporting this incident took roughly 35 seconds to a minute. That is more than enough time for another call to have been attempted to the police department and been jammed up by this one possibly leading to a crime or injury. This is how the report would go according to the logical analysis method:


"Police department"

"Yes hello my name is Greg, I'm calling to report damage to my co-worker Marty's car. It's not an emergency, just reporting it."

"Alright sir, so that was Marty...damage to vehicle...what time did this happen sir?"

"Roughly 3:00 officer"

"and where did this happen?"

"in the north lot"

"So what caused the damage to Marty's vehicle sir?"

"Well we started getting basketball sized hail at about 3:00 officer, really it's kinda Marty's fault for not parking in the paid covered lot today"

"Alright sir I'll get this to dispatch and we should have a patrol officer over there in about 15 minutes to follow up. Let Marty know that he should call his insurance company to find out if the damage is covered by his policy. Have a nice day sir."

"Thank you officer"


Now this dialogue took maybe 30 seconds flat, so just a little bit below what the other took, but the information was communicated so smoothly you could smear it on toast. There was no confusion on the officer's part as to what the call was about after the first couple sentences. Because the caller gave information in a simple and methodical manner, the report could be made quickly and smoothly which in turn allowed the officer the time and patience to be courteous and helpful to the caller at the end.


So, hypothesis 1: WHY can often cause confusion in a situation when it takes precedence over the previous four questions.

Hypothesis 2: Conspiracy
Yes of course my little mind with all it's little gears and clinkings has developed a reason for WHY to be the last question to be considered in any given situation.


This theory involves training the masses to not question authority, or at least not ask why until in reality the situation is beyond the need to know why.
From preschool on up we are educated and molded to avoid the word why.
Example is the typical child who questions everything. Mommy, why...? Daddy, why...? Why? Why? Why? Now partially from impatience grown from hearing the same word repeatedly as well as being demanded to account for every aspect of life, our parents start out by describing the universe to us.
Once this impatience sets in, the answer of "because" or "it just is" becomes the reason all in the world happens and so why becomes a question we only ask if we have to.
By our teenage years we have learned to utterly reject any attempt at having to account for anything.
"I don't know" should be stricken from human knowledge as a legible phrase for it is the ultimate scapegoat.
Ask a 3-4 year old why they think grass is green and you get an epic tale of bugs, birds, colors, wind, perhaps not understandable as a real reason but at least they want so desperately to tell you why that they just keep talking hoping something they describe is the reason.
As we go on we are almost trained that answering why is practically a punishment. " I need you to write a report on why volcanoes erupt, by friday, and make sure it's at least ten pages long". If someone were explaining the why of a situation to me and it would fill 10 pages of college rule notebook paper in small block print (single, not double space) I would be ready to pop their long winded eyes out. Volcanoes erupt because magma from below the crust eddies and flows, not to mention constant pressure changes due to plate shifting. These tides and currents of liquid rock cause weak spots in the earths crust where it can be pushed and pressurized until the magma finally breaks the surface and becomes lava once above which cools into the mountainous formations which can still be called volcanoes long after the lava no longer flows. OMG I just answered a 10 page why in what? 4 lines of type? Ugh.