# in the order

#### Roymalika

##### Senior Member
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The letters are written in the order above.

E A M N S V X C F E B D J G K Q T Y H L O R W P Z I U

The letters are not written in the order above.

Is the phrase "in the order" correct here?
By "in the order", I mean to say in the right sequence in which letters are written.

• #### lingobingo

##### Senior Member
I’m not sure that that makes any sense? What you can say is that the random line of letters is not in alphabetical order.

#### Roymalika

##### Senior Member
I’m not sure that that makes any sense? What you can say is that the random line of letters is not in alphabetical order.
One of my relatives is an English teacher. He has told his students this definition of an alphabet:
The collection of all 26 letters written in the order is called an alphabet (The English alphabet).

Does "in the order" make sense in this definition? As he's teaching his students the definition of alphabet, I think it would be odd to write "alphabetical order" in the definition.

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#### Myridon

##### Senior Member
"The order" makes no sense as no order has been defined. It also doesn't make sense because the English alphabet is not special in that regard, i.e. the English alphabet is not the only thing that "is called an alphabet" and those things don't all have 26 letters.
The collection of all letters used in a language written in alphabetical order is called an alphabet.
The collection of all letters used in a language written in a particular order is called an alphabet.

#### lingobingo

##### Senior Member
One of my relatives is an English teacher. He has told his students this definition of an alphabet:
The collection of all 26 letters written in the order is called an alphabet (The English alphabet).

Does "in the order" make sense in this definition? As he's teaching his students the definition of alphabet, I think it would be odd to write "alphabetical order" in the definition.
No. “In the order” is meaningless unless you’ve already explained what that order is. It also makes no sense to me to say that the 26 letters that make up the English alphabet are “called an alphabet”, as though that definition applies to all alphabets (which it doesn’t, since alphabets have differing numbers of characters).

If you want to explain what an alphabet is, why not check established definitions, such as:

A set of letters or symbols in a fixed order used to represent the basic set of speech sounds of a language, especially the set of letters from A to Z.​
The letters of a language in their customary order.​

#### Myridon

##### Senior Member
E A M N S V X C F E B D J G K Q T Y H L O R W P Z I U

The letters are not written in the order above.
This statement is illogical. It's like Magritte's painting of a pipe that says "This is not a pipe." The order above is the order those letters are in.

#### Kumar80s

##### Senior Member
In the order is wrong.
They are not in order is right.
The 26 letters are written in order/are not written in order.

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#### heypresto

##### Senior Member
The 26 letters are written in order/are not written in order.
They are written/not written in alphabetical order.

#### Edinburgher

##### Senior Member
The expression "in order" is not well-defined. It often depends on the usual C-word (guess what word that is) Context!
Sometimes "usual" order is assumed, sometimes we need to put a word between 'in' and 'order', such as "ascending", "numerical", "alphabetical", or even "random".

3, 6, 99, and 102 are in order (they are in ascending order, even if not adjacent).
It is not very helpful to say that an alphabet is in alphabetical order.

#### Myridon

##### Senior Member
It is not very helpful to say that an alphabet is in alphabetical order.
It's true that it is circular but, in the general case, an alphabet's order is only defined by the alphabet itself. There's no external logic as there is in numerical order. Then you have things like Library of Congress order where the English book "8" goes in the Es but the French book "8" belongs with the Hs.