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Questions tagged [list-order]

For questions about the order of coordinated words in short lists.

45
votes
7answers
12k views

Why the phrase “thunder and lightning”, and not “lightning and thunder”?

So there was just a thunderstorm, and my sister came with a question I couldn't answer: Why is it "thunder and lightning", because the lightning comes before the thunder? Shouldn't it be "lightning ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

“pros and cons”, “black and white”, “ups and downs”. Always in a fixed sequence, is there a word or phrase for these?

Is there a word or phrase for two nouns or adjectives joined by a conjunction (usually "and") in a fixed sequence? alive and well fast and furious hat and gloves pen and pencil ...
21
votes
3answers
11k views

Why is it “ladies and gentlemen” instead of “gentlemen and ladies”? [duplicate]

Is there a specific reason for this? After all, it is "boys and girls", rather than "girls and boys". If the boy (male) comes first here, why doesn't it come first in "ladies and gentlemen"?
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Why does left come before right?

For example in the idioms "left and right", "left, right and centre", and in many contexts where both left and right are mentioned, it seems that the left usually comes before the right. Why is this ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the principles that make certain lists sound euphonious?

Has this ever happened to you: You write a question, include a list or two in the discussion, and then come back to edit that list because the order doesn't sound "right"? Off the top of my head, I ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Which is right, “bananas and apples” or “apples and bananas” or both?

My English teacher just asked us to write a random sentence in English. Off the top of my head I wrote "I like to eat apples and bananas". She highlighted "apples" and said: "man, this is blatantly ...
10
votes
6answers
5k views

Does order matter when writing a sentence including aunt and uncle?

While I was translating the sentence "Mi tío y mi tía estaban caminando en esa calle cuando vieron tu coche," on DuoLingo, I got dinged for translating the sentence to "My aunt and uncle were walking ...
10
votes
4answers
19k views

“Mom and Dad” vs “Dad and Mom” [duplicate]

I'm curious if the order implies anything here. I'm pretty sure "Mom and Dad" is standard in English. The issue was hard for me to google, so I'm asking it here: Is using "Dad" before "Mom" incorrect,...
7
votes
1answer
211 views

Reversing Binomials

Siamese twins or binomials are pairs of expressions which are often conjoined. For example: back and forth ebb and flow near and far better or worse do or die Is there is a name for the rhetorical ...
6
votes
3answers
893 views

Which comes first: cat or dog?

Which comes first in a sentence? I know some word pairs such as bacon and eggs, where bacon always comes first. E.g: Make me bacon and eggs for dinner, honey. Cats and dogs are the two most ...
5
votes
2answers
108 views

Is there any rule which dictates the ordering of non-proper, non-pronoun nouns in a list?

For example, Is "Design, Operation, and Management," as equally good of a list as "Management, Operation, and Design?" My colleagues and I are having a tough time reasoning why one sounds better ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

The ordering of word pairs: anyone for chips and fish?

When we list pairs of words, certain orders seem much more common and natural than others. A few examples: Fish and chips instead of chips and fish Ladies and gentlemen instead of gentlemen and ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Why do we say kith & kin and not kin & kith? [duplicate]

Why do we often say "kith and kin" and not "kin and kith"? I was taught to believe that family comes first and the other later, and I do still believe in what I was taught.
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Religious names in index. How do you order and present? [closed]

I have a book that discusses Catholicism. I would like to know if there are any established resources that advise on listing religious names in indexes, where the norm is reversal of surnames and ...
3
votes
2answers
40 views

What is the best way to express relations between one party on one side, and two on the other

I recently read the following sentence: He helped normalize relations between the US and Vietnam and Laos. Assuming Vietnam and Laos already had normal relations with each other (which they might ...
2
votes
4answers
25k views

Is “forth and back” more proper than “back and forth”?

I think the term "back and forth" gets thrown around a lot without much thought. From Dictionary.com: forth    [fawrth, fohrth] adverb 1. onward or outward in place or space; forward: to ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Preferred list ordering [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the principles that make certain lists sound euphonious? Name for a type of idiom with two things joined (like “raining cats and dogs”, “bread and ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a difference between “Wrong or Right” and “Right or Wrong” [duplicate]

I was writing about the difference between morals and ethics when i wrote the following line both these terms talk about the right and wrong conduct of people both these terms talk about the ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Why “milk and sugar”, but rarely “sugar and milk”? [duplicate]

For example "Adam and Eve" is (almost) never said as "Eve and Adam". Making tea: "milk or sugar", but rarely "sugar or milk". Elevator: "up or down" is more common than "down or up". Some groupings ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Why does “north” come before “south”, and “black” before “white”? [duplicate]

This website is common in both north and south America. Or is this better? This website is common in both south and north America. Let's ask Google: "in north and south": 26,800,00 hits "in ...
1
vote
4answers
116 views

What is the horizontal equivalent of “all of the above”?

All of the above tends to be used to refer to options that have been described in previous lines in a bulleted list, and I'm wondering how to do the same in a sentence. For example, would the ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

which is a right way to write list Item

Below are the example to write a List, which is a right way to write list Item Example 1 : 4).Upload with File Restrictions Example 2 : 4) Upload with File Restrictions
0
votes
2answers
257 views

Software version names [closed]

For different major releases of a software product it is nice to assign a name to them. Although I find this tough... Properties of a good software version name: relatively large group of nouns (so ...
0
votes
1answer
315 views

Is there a preferred order for niece and nephew?

Is "niece and nephew" preferred over "nephew and niece", or vice versa? I tried using Google NGrams, but it gave inconclusive results: one was more common before 1980, then the other form became more ...
0
votes
2answers
796 views

What is the name for words that are only used in a certain order even though switching them would be grammatically correct? [duplicate]

E.g. hammer and anvil, and part and parcel. Unlike a normal cliche all of these would make sense if you switched the word order, but no one ever does. I remember seeing a name for this, but can't ...