Have you ever noticed how, when you talk about couples you know, you say their names in a particular order? In our family, for instance, we always say Jilly and Colin, never Colin and Jilly, and Sue and Donald, not Donald and Sue… Somehow it would feel wrong if you changed the names around. Why is that? The lyrical quality of the word order, perhaps? Your subconscious mind taking over and letting you know who matters most?
When he was three, my nephew Alex was given a blue bunny by his father’s cousin, Cecile, and her husband John. The family always called them John and Cecile, and Alex picked up on this word order, but endearingly mispronounced it. They’ve been ‘John and the Seal’ ever since.