Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 17:34:32 -0500

From: "H Stephen Straight (Binghamton University,


Subject: Re: ESL/forks to the right/pudding & pie?

"Pie and pudding" doesn't rhyme with "kissed the girls and made them

cry." It would make sense to me that the reason "pudding and pie"

was frozen in that pattern was solely because of the nursery rhyme.

Moreover, we mustn't forget Haj Ross's "Me First" principle, which

overrides the phonological factors to make "Cynthia and Mike" the way

I refer to my sister and her husband, while _his_ brother would call them

"Mike and Cynthia." In other words, a special personal connection can

lead a speaker to put the heavier member first.

Yet another overriding principle is good old prescriptive rule-following,

which leads to such monstrosities as "Ebenezer and I" in place of the

doubly predicted "me and Ebenezer" (which adheres to both the me-first and

the lighter-first principles, as revealed by its clear preferability to L1


So, we have now identified at least the following four ordered principles:

1. Frozen pattern: pudding and pie.

2. Prescriptive rule-following: Ebenezer and I.

3. Me-first: Janet and Jess (for a relative of Janet's).

4. Lighter-first: knife and fork (Amer) vs. fork and knife (Brit).

Are there any others?

Best. 'Bye. Steve

H Stephen Straight, Dir, Lgs Across the Curric, Binghamton U (SUNY)

Nat'l For Lg Ctr, Jan-Jun 96 VOX: 202-667-8100 - FAX: 202-667-6907

S-Mail: 1619 Mass Ave NW (at Scott Circle), Washington, DC 20036

sstraigh[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] ["sstraigh", not "sstraight"]