Six Ws

Journalists are taught to look for the six Ws – who what, where , when, why and How. I know “how” ends, rather than starts, with  a W, but that’s close enough for journalists.

Rudyard Kipling put it better, describing the questions as six honest serving men

From The Elephant’s Child, by Rudyard Kipling.

(Kipling’s daughter Elsie Bambridge claimed that “I keep six honest serving-men” referred to her as a little girl when, due to the number of questions she asked, she was known in the family as “Elsie Why”)

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small-
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!

She sends ‘em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes-
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!

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