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Why do we say things the way we do?

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Why do we say things the way we do?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Funny Money
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Funny Money
I posted this on another thread earlier and it got me thinking ...

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Why do we say things the way we do and the order in which we say them?

Examples I can quickly think of include:

Salt and Vinegar instead of Vinegar and Salt
Cheese and Onion sandwich instead of Onion and Cheese sandwich
Beans on Toast instead of Toast under Beans
Upstairs and Downstairs instead of Downstairs and Upstairs

Why do we do that? Why has it become the norm to say things in a certain way, and can you think of any other examples?
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Replies

  • NBLondonNBLondon Forumite
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    Well - at a guess
    Sleazy wrote: »

    Salt and Vinegar instead of Vinegar and Salt
    Because people add salt first and not everyone adds vinegar?
    Cheese and Onion sandwich instead of Onion and Cheese sandwich
    Because there is more cheese than there is onion? If I'm making it the onion is only there if it was in the chutney.
    Beans on Toast instead of Toast under Beans
    Because it's much easier to put toast on a plate and then beans on the toast than it is to put beans on a plate and then put toast underneath them?
    Upstairs and Downstairs instead of Downstairs and Upstairs
    Wild guess - social status? The family lives upstairs - the servants work downstairs?
    Why do we do that? Why has it become the norm to say things in a certain way, and can you think of any other examples?
    In and Out?
    Why Inside-out and not Outside-in?
    Back and Forth?
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    Here's a couple more ....

    'Fish and chips' - why not 'chips and fish'?
    Ditto 'sausages and mash' .....

    Some people (like the boss and I for example), usually add vinegar but not salt .... :p
  • NBLondonNBLondon Forumite
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    Sleazy wrote: »
    'Fish and chips' - why not 'chips and fish'?
    Because the fish is usually the primary component - you could have cod, haddock, rock, skate etc. but only one type of chips. Unless you know somewhere to buy fried fish and chocolate chips ;) If the chips are the primary component it's e.g. "chips 'n' gravy" or "chips with curry sauce".
    Some people (like the boss and I for example), usually add vinegar but not salt
    Me too - but we'd need a poll to determine if we're the minority.
    Wash your Knobs and Knockers... Keep the Postie safe!
  • PompeyPetePompeyPete Forumite
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    Knife and fork.....reads left to right, but the fork is generally held in the left hand, so why not fork and knife?

    Two more votes for vinegar only on F & C.
  • JackmydadJackmydad Forumite
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    Hat and coat. I would normally say. Americans (?) say coat and hat.
    Motorbike and sidecar. Obvious I suppose the motorbike has to be there.
    Hills and valleys (or vale / dale). Probably just sounds better.
  • z1az1a Forumite
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    Mum & Dad .
  • z1az1a Forumite
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    Black & white.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    NBLondon wrote: »
    Because the fish is usually the primary component - you could have cod, haddock, rock, skate etc. but only one type of chips. Unless you know somewhere to buy fried fish and chocolate chips ;) If the chips are the primary component it's e.g. "chips 'n' gravy" or "chips with curry sauce".

    Me too - but we'd need a poll to determine if we're the minority.

    I'll do a separate poll.
    I like them, even if nobody else does. ;)
  • luxor4tluxor4t Forumite
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    Sleazy wrote: »
    .....

    Why do we say things the way we do and the order in which we say them?........

    I couldn't watch "Shirley Valentine" because she kept on about 'chips and egg' :o
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  • swingalooswingaloo Forumite
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    I really need to get out more!

    Up and Down
    Coughs and sneezes
    Shoes and socks
    Collar and tie
    Cup and saucer
    Pots and pans
    Table and chairs
    Pen and paper
    Hat and gloves
    Song and dance
    Wet and dry
    Head and shoulders
    Top and bottom
    Rules and regulations
    Help and advice
    Fast and slow
    Stop and start
    Long and short
    Pins and needles
    Bring and buy
    Read and write
    Open and shut
    Stocks and shares
    Cats and dogs
    !!!! and bull
    Time and tide
    Rock and roll
    Dead or alive
    Hit and miss
    Full and final
    Black and blue
    Big and small
    Health and wealth
    Pen and pencil
    High and low
    Snow and ice
    Tooth and nail
    Male and female
    Buy and sell
    Fight or flight
    Now and then
    Peaches and cream
    Top and bottom
    Watch and wait
    Bits and pieces
    Sink or swim
    Horse and cart
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