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Off and on

(38 Posts)
Greta Mon 27-Jun-22 10:58:48

When rain has been forecast my computer tells me "Rain off and on". I'm sure we say "on and off". Am I right or wrong or is it optional?

Shandy57 Mon 27-Jun-22 10:59:33

I say off and on. Perhaps it's a regional thing? I'm a Londoner.

Wheniwasyourage Mon 27-Jun-22 11:20:28

I have always said "on and off", but I suppose it is optional.

Just to add to the confusion, I say "knife and fork", but DH says "fork and knife". grin

Baggs Mon 27-Jun-22 11:26:07

on and off

or showery

Baggs Mon 27-Jun-22 11:28:45

My phone's weather app says I can turn on notifications "when rain or snow is starting or stopping" near me.

Oldnproud Mon 27-Jun-22 11:31:22

I say on and off, but the other way round doesn't bother me, as it still makes sense - unlike my DH's use of far and few between instead of few and far between.

Juliet27 Mon 27-Jun-22 11:31:38

On and off (you can’t have off first if nothing’s on?)

Knife and fork

Beechnut Mon 27-Jun-22 11:37:32

On and off, knife and fork, few and far between for me.

Oldnproud Mon 27-Jun-22 11:42:44

Juliet27

On and off (you can’t have off first if nothing’s on?)

Knife and fork

But what if you are talking not about rain, but about the lights in your house? If they suddenly start to flicker, they must have been 'on' in the first place, and the first indication of a problem is their going off, then on ... 🤔

annodomini Mon 27-Jun-22 12:07:02

As long as my listener knows what I mean, what on earth does it matter? As it happens, I'd normally say 'on and off'; 'fork and knife' would sound odd to me, but I'd understand the speaker. So what?

Baggs Mon 27-Jun-22 12:10:46

Oldnproud

I say on and off, but the other way round doesn't bother me, as it still makes sense - unlike my DH's use of far and few between instead of few and far between.

"Far and few, far and few are the lands where the Jumblies live" 😉

Baggs Mon 27-Jun-22 12:11:57

I do a bit of temari making off and on.

The rain has been on and off all day.

Baggs Mon 27-Jun-22 12:13:17

There's a teensy weensy idiomatic difference between these uses but , as others, have said, if it's only meaning you're after, what the whatever? 🙂

MrsKen33 Mon 27-Jun-22 13:04:53

Our weather girl always says “There is sun on offer today.” Does that mean I can decline it if I so desire?

Zonne Mon 27-Jun-22 13:19:25

I use both. For example, rain is off and on, lights are on and off.

welbeck Mon 27-Jun-22 13:29:08

my parent always said fork and knife, saying you have to put the fork in first before you use the knife.
perfectly logical. also its alphabetical order.
also, for times, five-and-twenty to three etc.
i find myself doing that now.

Witzend Mon 27-Jun-22 13:49:50

It’s ‘off’ at the moment here anyway, so before it changes its mind I’m going to pick a riot of sweet peas to take to a neighbour later.

Witzend Mon 27-Jun-22 14:00:29

Witzend

It’s ‘off’ at the moment here anyway, so before it changes its mind I’m going to pick a riot of sweet peas to take to a neighbour later.

Here they are. 🙂

I’m probably overthinking it, but to me, ‘on and off’ might indicate more on than off, and vice versa.

It’s still ‘off’ here, anyway.

NfkDumpling Mon 27-Jun-22 14:09:26

On and off of course. How can rain stop before its started?

And the knife has to come before the fork. Because you use the knife to cut your food before you use your fork to eat it.

Doodledog Mon 27-Jun-22 14:17:29

'On and off', and 'off and on' both sound right to me. Definitely 'knife and fork', and I would say 'twenty-five to three'. Five and twenty sounds archaic - as though someone has miscounted the number of blackbirds in a pie grin.

Greta Mon 27-Jun-22 14:49:19

I'll continue to let it rain on and off. I agree with you, NfkDumpling, how can rain stop before it has started? Sometimes it even rains "cats and dogs".

Set phrases are interesting. I would certainly say "knives and forks".

Others: bits and pieces/bangers and mash/fish and chips.

Georgesgran Mon 27-Jun-22 14:53:10

On and off for me and knife and fork.
What about salt and pepper although I think I often say pepper and salt!

NotSpaghetti Mon 27-Jun-22 15:02:45

Beechnut

On and off, knife and fork, few and far between for me.

Me too

StarDreamer Mon 27-Jun-22 15:42:14

MrsKen33

Our weather girl always says “There is sun on offer today.” Does that mean I can decline it if I so desire?

Buy one, get one free! sunshinesunshine

Audi10 Mon 27-Jun-22 15:45:28

I say off & On