vah saa-VWAAR! Click below to hear this.
Go figure! Who knows?
Don’t forget to add the insouciant “it-doesn’t-make-sense, but so what?” wave of the hand, brushing away the importance of the issue! (Insouciant is another good French word, borrowed into English. It means carefree.)
Go figure seems to suggest that we should go away and try to figure out how to make sense of an apparent (or real) contradiction. Va savoir sounds as if we are being told to “go know (it)”, as if the knowledge would come naturally once we walked away.
But savoir has another meaning as well. In the passé composé, the compound past that uses an auxiliary verb, it means to find out or to learn. So Je l’ai su hier means I found out about it yesterday.
Some of that secondary meaning has clung to savoir in this expression: go find out how this makes sense, is the implication. So the connotation of va savoiris almost exactly the same as the English go figure. In either language, we are going to have to work to understand this anomaly.
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