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Hi there,
I hope I've found the right section for my question. I wonder why people use "come and go" rather than "go and come". Is this rather a question of common usage or would you say that "come and go" behaves like an idiom? I just wonder, why words appear in a certain sequence and others don't.
Thanks for your ideas and best regards,
Kim
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It's poetry; Anon, the chorus line from The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock:
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
Go and come would not rhyme...
It's fixed {like ham and eggs, peanut buter and jelly, bread and butter, ups and downs, ins and outs}.

The French is fixed, too, but the opposite of English order (le va-et-vient).

American kids know that their flag is red, white and blue; French kids recognize their flag as blue, white and red (but that's the order of the colors whether hanging vertically or horizontally).
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Hi,
In this case, I would think common usage.

It may possibly also be easier to say 'come and go'. With 'go and come', the pronunciation seems slightly harder because of the two vowel sounds following each other, ie 'go and come'.

Finally, things often have to come before they are in a position to go.
eg a visitor to my home
eg an opportunity

Best wishes, Clive
AnonymousI wonder why people use "come and go" rather than "go and come". Is this rather a question of common usage or would you say that "come and go" behaves like an idiom?
It's merely a matter of custom, i.e., common usage. There are hundreds of others where the sound and rhythm has become fixed in native speakers' minds and the order has nothing to do with logic, as the reverse order would make just as much sense:

needle and thread, soap and water, thunder and lightning, to and fro, bread and jelly, peaches and cream, meat and potatoes, on and off, for and against, ...,
possibly even sing and dance, hunt and fish.

The use of these expressions in their standard order makes for idiomatic English, but they are not idioms, because the words retain their literal meanings. Of course in an expression like to rain cats and dogs there is an idiomatic meaning as well as a fixed word order.

CJ
AlpheccaStars In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
Go and come would not rhyme... I can't believe you said that, A/S! That's exactly what I wanted to say! And then I thought, "Naw, they'll kick me off the internet for being weird." (Five stars for that one!)
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AvangiI can't believe you said that, A/S! That's exactly what I wanted to say! And then I thought, "Naw, they'll kick me off the internet for being weird."
One should never be kicked for a quote! Emotion: smile
Who said that?
Would not rhyme, indeed!

Mr. Eliot could well have decided to write

In the bar the menfolk go and come
Speaking of hot buttered rum.


And then what would we tell the O.P.??? Emotion: big smile

CJ
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