Usage and Grammar
Q. I am wondering about the order of masculine and feminine nouns in a sentence. For example, is it correct to say, “Bring your daughters and sons to the event”? This seems awkward to me. It seems more appropriate to put the masculine first: “Bring your sons and daughters to the event.” Is this correct?
A. It may seem correct, because the masculine pronoun he is conventionally given precedence: He and she were each fined fifty dollars for spitting. But how fair is that? And in any case daughters and sons are not pronouns. In some contexts it might sound more natural to put the feminine first: “Next Tuesday the Girls in Science Club will host its annual exhibit. Bring your daughters and your sons to this inspiring event.”