#1 Posted by theguy (797 posts) -

I'm writing an essay at the moment and remembered something that I have wondered about for a while. When arranging words together in a sentence is there a name or a method for the order in which you do it?

For example "Health and Safety" sounds better than "Safety and Health". I understand that this might be because we have always heard it as "Health and Safety" and any other way sounds weird but I also encounter this with words that don't have an established order. They don't have to be separated by "and" either I sometimes find lists far more pleasing to read in one order than another. So is there a name or method behind this or am I crazy?

#2 Posted by FlarePhoenix (421 posts) -

Alphabetically?

#3 Posted by FritzDude (2273 posts) -

Conjoining? Stringing? predicate? I'm not sure what you mean exactly.

#4 Posted by Turambar (6946 posts) -

Syntax, though that is more specific to the word order of sentences.

#5 Posted by Cramsy (1179 posts) -

It sounds like it's more of a habit you're describing. Instead of saying "cookies and cream" I say "cream and cookies" just to get a reaction out of people at work

#6 Posted by theguy (797 posts) -

@Turambar said:

Syntax, though that is more specific to the word order of sentences.

That's not really what I'm talking about. It's hard to explain. I can't really think of any more examples at the moment than "health and safety". It's not that it would be wrong to say "safety and health" but the former is much more pleasing to the ear. I thought there might be a name for or a method to arranging words so they have the most ring to them. Hmm maybe I am crazy.

#7 Posted by theguy (797 posts) -

@Cramsy said:

It sounds like it's more of a habit you're describing. Instead of saying "cookies and cream" I say "cream and cookies" just to get a reaction out of people at work

Yeah maybe. I just thought it might be one of those weird, obscure, technical things that there are actual rules for but no one really cares about.

#8 Posted by Thompson820 (410 posts) -

Don't know that there's a term for that, it's just whatever sounds best.

#9 Posted by tomte (291 posts) -

@FlarePhoenix said:

Alphabetically?

this? Law and Order, cookies and cream, bed and breakfast...

#10 Posted by killacam (1281 posts) -

@tomte said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

Alphabetically?

this? Law and Order, cookies and cream, bed and breakfast...

pride and prejudice. myth busted.

#11 Posted by FlarePhoenix (421 posts) -

@killacam said:

@tomte said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

Alphabetically?

this? Law and Order, cookies and cream, bed and breakfast...

pride and prejudice. myth busted.

Maybe it's listed by what happens first. You have pride so you're prejudice. You have Law and then you have Order. You start with a cookie, and then you add cream. You go to bed, and have breakfast the next morning.

#12 Posted by ajamafalous (12268 posts) -
@Cramsy said:

Instead of saying "cookies and cream" I say "cream and cookies" just to get a reaction out of people at work

You're the worst kind of person.
#13 Posted by Vampir (143 posts) -

It's just convention.

#14 Posted by Jrinswand (1713 posts) -

It took me several tries to figure out what you were saying. At first, I thought you were talking about sentence structures and grammar. I'm sure that there is a word or a concept to describe what you're talking about (when it comes to grammar and linguistics, there is a term to describe almost everything), but I don't know what it is.

#15 Posted by Jrinswand (1713 posts) -

@Intelligent_Space_Man said:

@Jrinswand said:

It took me several tries to figure out what you were saying. At first, I thought you were talking about sentence structures and grammar. I'm sure that there is a word or a concept to describe what you're talking about (when it comes to grammar and linguistics, there is a term to describe almost everything), but I don't know what it is.

Collocation.

And there you have it. Thanks, duder.

#16 Posted by BeachThunder (12730 posts) -

@FlarePhoenix said:

@killacam said:

@tomte said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

Alphabetically?

this? Law and Order, cookies and cream, bed and breakfast...

pride and prejudice. myth busted.

Maybe it's listed by what happens first. You have pride so you're prejudice. You have Law and then you have Order. You start with a cookie, and then you add cream. You go to bed, and have breakfast the next morning.

What about 'knife and fork'?

#17 Posted by FlarePhoenix (421 posts) -

@BeachThunder said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

@killacam said:

@tomte said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

Alphabetically?

this? Law and Order, cookies and cream, bed and breakfast...

pride and prejudice. myth busted.

Maybe it's listed by what happens first. You have pride so you're prejudice. You have Law and then you have Order. You start with a cookie, and then you add cream. You go to bed, and have breakfast the next morning.

What about 'knife and fork'?

Hmm... I DECREE FROM THIS POINT ON IT SHALL BE FORK AND KNIFE!!!

#18 Posted by theguy (797 posts) -

@Intelligent_Space_Man said:

Euphony, perhaps?

Hmm yeah I have only heard that tone in reference to poetry but that's basically what I mean. I suppose I thought there would be a more specific sort of rule for lists or pairings of words in ordinary writing or speech but I guess this is close as it gets. Thanks duder!

#19 Posted by Gladiator_Games (447 posts) -
@theguy

@Turambar said:

Syntax, though that is more specific to the word order of sentences.

That's not really what I'm talking about. It's hard to explain. I can't really think of any more examples at the moment than "health and safety". It's not that it would be wrong to say "safety and health" but the former is much more pleasing to the ear. I thought there might be a name for or a method to arranging words so they have the most ring to them. Hmm maybe I am crazy.

Sounds like its time to get something named after you! "theguy principle"
#20 Posted by killacam (1281 posts) -

@FlarePhoenix said:

@BeachThunder said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

@killacam said:

@tomte said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

Alphabetically?

this? Law and Order, cookies and cream, bed and breakfast...

pride and prejudice. myth busted.

Maybe it's listed by what happens first. You have pride so you're prejudice. You have Law and then you have Order. You start with a cookie, and then you add cream. You go to bed, and have breakfast the next morning.

What about 'knife and fork'?

Hmm... I DECREE FROM THIS POINT ON IT SHALL BE FORK AND KNIFE!!!

soup and salad? dollars and cents? WALK AND TALK?!?!

#21 Posted by JerichoBlyth (1044 posts) -

Edge and Christian? (Am I doing this right?)

#22 Posted by FlarePhoenix (421 posts) -

@killacam said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

@BeachThunder said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

@killacam said:

@tomte said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

Alphabetically?

this? Law and Order, cookies and cream, bed and breakfast...

pride and prejudice. myth busted.

Maybe it's listed by what happens first. You have pride so you're prejudice. You have Law and then you have Order. You start with a cookie, and then you add cream. You go to bed, and have breakfast the next morning.

What about 'knife and fork'?

Hmm... I DECREE FROM THIS POINT ON IT SHALL BE FORK AND KNIFE!!!

soup and salad? dollars and cents? WALK AND TALK?!?!

I don't know about soup and salad (I suppose that is up to preference as to what you'd do first), but you would pay for something in dollars, and then you cents if necessary (not to mention when talking about money you list the dollars before the cents (i.e. $1.50). As for walk and talk, well you would start walking and then you'd start talking, not the other way around.

#23 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Since you're writing an essay, this might help.

#24 Posted by theguy (797 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Since you're writing an essay, this might help.

Both deliciously morbid and helpful. Thanks!

#25 Posted by yinstarrunner (1252 posts) -

I think it probably has something to do with the cadence in the words. You want to start off with a softer sound and end with the harsher ones, I suppose.

#26 Posted by theguy (797 posts) -

@Gladiator_Games said:

@theguy

@Turambar said:

Syntax, though that is more specific to the word order of sentences.

That's not really what I'm talking about. It's hard to explain. I can't really think of any more examples at the moment than "health and safety". It's not that it would be wrong to say "safety and health" but the former is much more pleasing to the ear. I thought there might be a name for or a method to arranging words so they have the most ring to them. Hmm maybe I am crazy.

Sounds like its time to get something named after you! "theguy principle"

Aw hells yeah!