Date: Mon, 5 Feb 1996 11:46:20 EST From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: knife & fork If anyone is still hanging on to the impression that fewer-syllables-before- more-syllables is the major principle determining order of nominals in fixed binomials/freezes, here are a few examples where the phonological tendency is overridden by one or more semantic factors [most from Cooper & Ross 1975] happy or sad fathers and sons parent and child singular and plural monolingual or bilingual heaven and hell predator and prey living/alive or dead peanut butter and jelly As for bacon and eggs, there is indeed a meat-first tendency, operative also in my aforementioned burger and fries (hot dog and roll, etc.), which is in fact strong enough to account for Campbell's pork and beans, one that always puzzled me because the only "pork" anyone could find therein was that little slab of fat. (I suppose "pork fat and beans" would have sounded less appetizing.) Cooper and Ross also point to "surf and turf", "fish or fowl", and "fish or game" to suggest that while meat precedes almost every- thing else, it's outranked by fish. Larry