clean and neat

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jakartaman

Senior Member
Korean
Does "It's clean and neat" sound strange
as it is usually said "It's neat and clean"?

Sometimes, the order of things is important
as in "red, white, and blue(?)" to talk about the US flag
(though it doesn't hurt grammar).

So I wonder if "neat and clean" is such a case.
 
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Does "It's clean and neat" sound strange
    as it is usually said "It's neat and clean"?
    Can you give us some examples of where you've come across the phrase "it's neat and clean"? I don't think I have the same opinion of this phrase (or non-phrase) as you do, so it would be really helpful for me to get a better sense of where you're coming from.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think you've confused "common" with "important". I doubt anyone would hurt you if you said the American flag was white, blue and red.
    A counter-example from "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by Lewis Carroll:
    Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
    Their shoes were clean and neat--
    And this was odd, because, you know,
    They hadn't any feet.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    "Neat and tidy" is definitely a set phrase (it would sound jarring to hear "tidy and neat"), but "neat and clean" isn't - at least in my experience.
     
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