Date: Tue, 6 Feb 1996 23:55:54 EST From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: conjoined names Lynne complains: >i think we're just getting silly when we try to find linguistic >reasons for conjoined names. while entertainers and new companies >might decide on order according to what sounds nicer, there are going >to be too many other absolutely-non-linguistic factors involved. for >example, i grew up upstairs from parker, rayfield and murphy funeral >home. the only reason it's called that is because murphy bought it >from rayfield who bought it from parker (who founded it). same is >going to be true of law firms and stock-broking (brokering?) >companies. things like "sears and roebuck" might be determined by who >put in more money. Well, yes, but I'm not sure we're being MUCH sillier here than we are when we try to fing linguistic reasons for anything else; it is our occupational disease, after all, and who likes a null hypothesis? We do have to acknowledge that there are independent (e.g. temporal-priority) factors involved, and it's precisely when those factors are overridden or can be controlled for that the interesting linguistic variables emerge. >i do like the "straight wo/man" first theory in comedy. but it >doesn't work for "laurel and hardy", but it might explain "the >captain and tennille". in fact, that one goes against the "singer >first" rule that i think was proposed--as might "ike and tina turner" >(did ike sing?), and arguably "sonny and cher". And Peter, Paul, and Mary. And Delaney and Bonnie. And Donny and Marie. Male-before-female. >so, i think when we get to people, the rules fall apart. score one >for free will? To paraphrase the title of the Ike and Tina movie, What's Free Will Got to Do With It? I'm afraid the ordering votes tend to be weighted. L P.S. It was indeed Tom and Dick Smothers. Straight man second, but I wonder whether Tom, Dick & Harry may have played a role.