Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Sleazy
    • By Sleazy 26th Mar 19, 6:16 PM
    • 18,482Posts
    • 39,631Thanks
    Sleazy
    Why do we say things the way we do?
    • #1
    • 26th Mar 19, 6:16 PM
    Why do we say things the way we do? 26th Mar 19 at 6:16 PM
    I posted this on another thread earlier and it got me thinking ...



    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?
    Weekly Distance Walked 30km / Total For Year 1162 km
Page 1
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 27th Mar 19, 9:08 AM
    • 2,979 Posts
    • 15,178 Thanks
    NBLondon
    • #2
    • 27th Mar 19, 9:08 AM
    • #2
    • 27th Mar 19, 9:08 AM
    Well - at a guess

    Salt and Vinegar instead of Vinegar and Salt
    Originally posted by Sleazy
    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?
    "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
    • Sleazy
    • By Sleazy 27th Mar 19, 1:08 PM
    • 18,482 Posts
    • 39,631 Thanks
    Sleazy
    • #3
    • 27th Mar 19, 1:08 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Mar 19, 1:08 PM
    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 ....
    Weekly Distance Walked 30km / Total For Year 1162 km
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 27th Mar 19, 1:19 PM
    • 2,979 Posts
    • 15,178 Thanks
    NBLondon
    • #4
    • 27th Mar 19, 1:19 PM
    • #4
    • 27th Mar 19, 1:19 PM
    'Fish and chips' - why not 'chips and fish'?
    Originally posted by Sleazy
    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.
    "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 27th Mar 19, 2:49 PM
    • 6,611 Posts
    • 9,507 Thanks
    PompeyPete
    • #5
    • 27th Mar 19, 2:49 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Mar 19, 2:49 PM
    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.
    • Jackmydad
    • By Jackmydad 27th Mar 19, 3:08 PM
    • 7,264 Posts
    • 23,344 Thanks
    Jackmydad
    • #6
    • 27th Mar 19, 3:08 PM
    • #6
    • 27th Mar 19, 3:08 PM
    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.
    • z1a
    • By z1a 27th Mar 19, 5:05 PM
    • 2,338 Posts
    • 2,392 Thanks
    z1a
    • #7
    • 27th Mar 19, 5:05 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Mar 19, 5:05 PM
    Mum & Dad .
    • z1a
    • By z1a 27th Mar 19, 5:06 PM
    • 2,338 Posts
    • 2,392 Thanks
    z1a
    • #8
    • 27th Mar 19, 5:06 PM
    • #8
    • 27th Mar 19, 5:06 PM
    Black & white.
    • Sleazy
    • By Sleazy 27th Mar 19, 7:01 PM
    • 18,482 Posts
    • 39,631 Thanks
    Sleazy
    • #9
    • 27th Mar 19, 7:01 PM
    • #9
    • 27th Mar 19, 7:01 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    I'll do a separate poll.
    I like them, even if nobody else does.
    Weekly Distance Walked 30km / Total For Year 1162 km
    • luxor4t
    • By luxor4t 27th Mar 19, 7:31 PM
    • 10,615 Posts
    • 38,571 Thanks
    luxor4t
    .....

    Why do we say things the way we do and the order in which we say them?........
    Originally posted by Sleazy
    I couldn't watch "Shirley Valentine" because she kept on about 'chips and egg'
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
    • swingaloo
    • By swingaloo 28th Mar 19, 7:16 PM
    • 2,101 Posts
    • 3,813 Thanks
    swingaloo
    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
    • Sleazy
    • By Sleazy 28th Mar 19, 7:18 PM
    • 18,482 Posts
    • 39,631 Thanks
    Sleazy
    I really need to get out more!

    ...
    Horse and cart
    Originally posted by swingaloo
    I usually put the cart before the horse!
    Weekly Distance Walked 30km / Total For Year 1162 km
    • miriamac
    • By miriamac 28th Mar 19, 10:26 PM
    • 1,165 Posts
    • 2,519 Thanks
    miriamac
    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.
    Originally posted by PompeyPete
    I'm sure that one has been mentioned in the past.

    Say 'fork n knife' out loud and you can hear why people might avoid saying it that way!
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 1st Apr 19, 8:00 AM
    • 2,979 Posts
    • 15,178 Thanks
    NBLondon
    I really need to get out more!
    Shoes and socks
    Collar and tie
    Originally posted by swingaloo
    You usually put socks on before shoes. When collars were separate from shirts; you attache the collar before you can put on a tie.
    Rules and regulations
    Rules are generic; regulations are more specific - a regulation is a type of rule
    Bring and buy
    As in sale? Well people have to bring things before anyone has anything to buy?
    Read and write
    You learn to read before you learn to write?
    Time and tide
    Everywhere has time not everywhere has tides?
    Watch and wait
    That's an interesting one... You can't watch without waiting, but you could wait without watching. There's an implication that something will happen if you wait and watch for it...
    "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

166Posts Today

1,455Users online

Martin's Twitter