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Phrase confused
Posted: 23 April 2007 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The phrase “if you THINK that, then you’ve got another THINK coming” is the correct wording I am certain for two reasons: 1.) I remember as a small child hearing this said frequently by many adults and then as I grew up hearing people misspeak this phrase with the word THING coming second in the phrase and wondering if they knew they were saying wrong and not wanting to be rude in correcting them especially if they were my elder. I also saw a colomn written by either Dear Abby or Ann making reference to this very thing once in an article she wrote regarding people saying this incorrectly. 2.) Just logically speaking can anyone tell me how grammatically that would even make any sense to say it that way or for that matter does it make any common sense.  One minute you’re thinking and the next minute you’re “thinging”. That’s silly. I have had an ongoing dispute regarding this issue with many ex-coworkers as well as family from the south. Surprisingly many of them believe I am just crazy and looking for a debate on something and I have been unsuccessful in convincing them otherwise. Could you and would you please help if at possible to put this dispute to rest? Thank you so much for your time and attention to this.

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Posted: 23 April 2007 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The OED has this under “think, noun”

b. to have another think coming: to be greatly mistaken.

The noun “think” is described as dialect and colloquial, but it looks like you’re right on this one.

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Posted: 23 April 2007 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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mysterry - 23 April 2007 08:17 AM

One minute you’re thinking and the next minute you’re “thinging”.

The problem is the second think is a noun, so that should say “One minute you’re thinking and the next minute you’re having a think.” People don’t say “a think” as much anymore.  “I’m going have a good think about it” sounds old fashioned or colloquial IMO. 

Due to the word change, IMO, most people now use the phrase to mean - you’ll have to deal with the consequences - not - you’ll need to change your opinion.  So, they are in one way “correct” since their meaning has also changed.

If you think that now, then think again. vs If you continue to think that, you’ll get what’s coming to you.

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Posted: 23 April 2007 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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We thrashed this out a while back, but I can’t for the life of me find it.

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Posted: 23 April 2007 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It was here.

Summary: the “think” version has historical priority, but “thing” now seems to be at least as widely used, probably much more so.  Anybody who thinks that their version is the only correct form has another thin’ comin’.

[ Edited: 23 April 2007 10:31 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 23 April 2007 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I grew up in England with “you’ve got another another think coming”, and I would say it is still perfectly current over here. I am certain that I have never heard or read it as “another thing coming”; I think that must be (to date) a purely Leftpondian phenomenon - what do the other Rightpondians here say?

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Posted: 23 April 2007 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Syntinen: Did you read the thread Dr. T linked?  It was pretty thoroughly hashed out there (and I still feel the echoes of the despair I expressed therein).

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Posted: 23 April 2007 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m even more convinced than before that people (on either side of the pond) who claim never to have heard other people around them using a different version than the one they themselves use have simply not been listening closely.

Googlits:
2,400 for “got another thing coming” site:.uk
818 for “got another think coming” site:.uk

[ Edited: 23 April 2007 10:55 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 23 April 2007 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The “thing” version (as a corruption of the original phrase “another think coming") may qualify as an “egg corn” — see this site:  http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/ .

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Posted: 23 April 2007 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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In origin, yes, but how long and how widely does a phrase have be used before it’s no longer an erroneous variant?  Is “an apron” an eggcorn for “a napron”?

Confucius say: Man who think combover hide bald head has another thin combing.

[ Edited: 23 April 2007 11:13 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 23 April 2007 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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By the way, the draft revisions to the online OED last month push “another thing coming” back to 1919, which would seem to put the historical priority of “think” in doubt, although the etymology given still describes the “thing” version as arising by misapprehension of the “think” version.

1919 Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald 12 Aug. 8/3 If you think the life of a movie star is all sunshine and flowers you’ve got another thing coming.

The (unrevised) entry for the “think” version still gives the first cite as 1937.

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Posted: 23 April 2007 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I suspect Dr Techie is right about people hearing what they expect to hear. It was a favourite expression of my mother’s, and I grew up thinking that it was ‘another thing’, not being aware that there was any doubt about the matter till I saw it in ‘another think’ in print. Although I believe that ‘another thing’ was my mother’s version, I can’t be dogmatic about it, and as she’s dead there’s no way of checking.

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Posted: 23 April 2007 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I wrote:

By the way, the draft revisions to the online OED last month push “another thing coming” back to 1919, which would seem to put the historical priority of “think” in doubt,

But OTOH I found this at Making of America:

“If you think I will not fight then you have another think coming.”
from a speech by Gov. William Sulzer, given in April 1913, as reported in
Tammany’s treason, impeachment of Governor William Sulzer; the complete story written from behind the scenes, showing how Tammany plays the game, how men are bought, sold and delivered, by Jay W.Forrest.
Publication Info: Albany, N.Y.: [The Fort Orange press], 1913.

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Posted: 23 April 2007 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Think by a neck then at the moment. It shouldn’t matter a jot to me which of the versions is earlier, but I confess if thing wins the day I shall feel as if I’d at some point stepped through a looking-glass unawares into a world strangely and subtly altered.

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Posted: 23 April 2007 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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This is like the old “duck tape"/"duct tape” argument.

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Posted: 23 April 2007 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I grew up (in NZ) parsing the expression with “thing”, and was surprised to find that “think” was widely considered to be correct. Given that the two forms are essentially homophonous in normal speech, I think the variation is more of an individual rather than a geographical thing.

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