Very good question! I don't have an answer. There are a few
"maybe-answers", but they mostly come down to "programmer
didn't know of a viable alternative".
I believe it was Andrew Plotkin (glk, Glulxe, lots of other
stuff) who said that writing good C requires something like
brain-damage. Once you have acquired the brain-damage, writing C
code is no problem; in fact, it feels darn good.
And another thing: How many other languages have their very own