Consider these 2 points –
1) There is something which can be called “Linguistic-tapping”. Brief explanation – When questions come, they come in the form of a few words. And our mind-system has reservoirs of inter-connected knowledge-bases which are tapped by these few words (Linguistic pointers to the databases/reservoirs) while thinking, to answer the given question.
2) Also, there is familiarity and hence a “comfort” with certain words since we have huge respective corresponding reservoirs owing to familiarity with multiple ways, forms and contexts of usages of those words. For example, consider words like ‘good’, ‘man’ etc. (occurring in questions – the context in concern here). These words are so familiar and have been heard so many times, being used in varied senses and contexts, that there is an automatic “comfort-zone” with these words.
The above 2 points collectively imply the following : Whenever there is a question posed to us, the “familiar” parts get quickly “set and organised” into the mind, with the unfamiliar, odd & less-heard-of words being are held actively by the mind and are harped upon while thinking about that question.
This is also supported by the following observed fact :
Consider these 2 examples of questions –
1. Which would be the fastest car on Mars?
2. Who is the smartest man in space?
In these, the fastest car (1st question) and the smartest man (2nd question) are the familiar parts, and which get set and understood and organised immediately upon hearing the questions. Whereas the mind keeps harping upon ‘Mars’ & ‘space’, being puzzled by their occurrence. So, for example, the initial thinking process (in the first question) would comprise of questions like – “Mars?” / “on Mars?” / “why Mars?” / “what so special about Mars?” /….. and other such Mars-centric questions.