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Phrase confused
Posted: 23 April 2007 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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At a glance, in the on-line newspapers, I find “another thing coming” from 1912, “another think coming” from 1898, “a good, hard think coming” from 1896.

[ Edited: 23 April 2007 07:16 PM by D Wilson ]
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Posted: 24 April 2007 04:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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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.

Regardless of which happens to be attested first, how could the “thing” version possibly be the original form?  It makes absolutely no sense on its own; it’s clearly parasitic on “think.” The acoustic transition couldn’t be simpler (/θiŋ(k)kʌmiŋ/), and of course once people think they hear it as “thing” they don’t worry about whether it makes sense (many idioms don’t), but how could it have come into being on its own?

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Posted: 24 April 2007 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I think it very likely that “think” is the orginal, but as was pointed out in the previous discussion, “another thing coming” as equivalent to “something else that will occur; events or consequences other than what exist now” makes a good deal of sense by itself, and could plausibly have developed on its own.  The best argument against it is that the phrase is usually tied to “if you [he, she, they, etc.] think(s)...”, which strongly suggests that the second half was also originally “think”.  But it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine a scenario in which “another thing coming” originated independently, then got tied to “if you think...” and modified for parallelism.

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Posted: 24 April 2007 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I have to admit that the “doesn’t make any sense” idea doesn’t make any sense to me. I see it just as Dr. T suggests.

I can remember my mother saying something like, “If you think I’m going to let you go to school in those clothes, then you’ve got another thing coming to you, mister.” In other words the thing I think I’m going to get (her approval of my sartorial selection) is not the thing I am going to get. I don’t see any problem with the logic.

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Posted: 24 April 2007 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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But 1) it rarely occurs on its own as “I’m sorry, but you’ve got another thing coming” or the like, it occurs almost exclusively following “If you think...”; and 2) it doesn’t occur as “then you’ve got another thing coming to you” except in nonce uses, like your mother’s—if it were originally “thing” then that would be a normal expression.  Also, “you’ve got another thing coming” simply isn’t normal English—we say “you’ve got something else coming (to you).” Sure, you can make it vaguely plausible if you’re already convinced “thing” is original, but without that prior belief, it just doesn’t work.  (Googling it, I discover there’s a Judas Priest song “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” which has doubtless helped to disseminate this unfortunate variant.)

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Posted: 24 April 2007 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I get the feeling that you still haven’t recovered from the discovery that large numbers of people use “thing”.  Your point #1 essentially duplicates a point that I made in my previous post.  But the primacy of “think” over “thing” is a matter of historical evidence, not logical necessity.

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Posted: 24 April 2007 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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U-boat captain to crew:

Men! Ve are approaching der “Royal Soffreign” at a combined shpeed off tventy-five knots! Ven ve come into range ve shall launch sefferal torpedoes! Hopefully --- ve shall sink her viss der first salfo!  Und den --- if ve sink dat --- ve haff anozer sink coming in der shape of der “Royal Chorche”! 

Crew (sings joyously a cappella): SINK! SINK! BRUEDERLEIN SINK! ---- DA-DAD-DE-DA-DA-DE-DAAAAH!

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Posted: 24 April 2007 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Naja! Jedenfalls ve haf anoder “trink” coming.

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Posted: 24 April 2007 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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I learnt with astonishment the other day that the well-known phrase, “every think comes to he who waits” has a variant, etc etc

(Payback time!)

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Posted: 25 April 2007 04:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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It certainly does, if you have a memory like mine.  Waiting is vital.

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Posted: 25 April 2007 04:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I get the feeling that you still haven’t recovered from the discovery that large numbers of people use “thing”.

So very true.

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Posted: 25 April 2007 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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To: Dr. T
I have long since recovered from the discovery that large numbers of people use this phrase incorrectly, though I understand the ease with which one would hear this phrase without the “k” sound since so many people do not enuciate clearly these days and even the rationalization and explainations by those who truly believe that the correct version is “thing”, however I can’t understand why they would choose to believe that it makes sense once they have been explained why the “think” version exists. I have no issue with the “thing” version, as stated, I get the explainations, I am simply having a difficult time convincing others there is an original and different version as many believe it has always and only been “thing” and that I am making it up for argument sake. As for the “egg corn” theory...it wouldn’t be any different if people were to accept and change the word “thirsty” to “thirsday” simply because a child can’t enuciate the word correctly and people think it sounds cute so they mimick the child which in turn reinforces the mispronuciation by others. So when we need a drink now we are a day of the week, is Tuesday then the day we do everything in pairs, twosday. Fri-day is the day we eat french fries or over-tan? No I guess that would be Sun-day. Should we alter it to be Winds-day or perhaps whens-day. I never “axed” anyone for an answer to a question, though I have “asked” them before. And I never said I ate a sanmich, just because my daughter once couldn’t pronounce “sandwich”. Get where I’m going with this? With every generation the English language gets diluted with mispronuciation which people adapt and accept without ever questioning or raising an eyebrow at the logic. Sad really, as I believer if we were able to return in about 500 years from now, maybe more, we wouldn’t even be able to understand what that generation of people were saying. Much like Shakespear today. My mother continues to believe the word “faux” is pronounced “fox” no matter how often she has been told otherwise, she chooses to dig in her heals so as not to be corrected by anyone younger, and sounds ridiculous when she is refering to a “fox-mink coat”. Which is it, fox or mink? She also continues to say the word “constellation” in place of the word “consolation” even after the explaination between the two words, I didn’t want to confuse her more with the addition of the word consultation. I love my mother dearly and refuse to engage in a huge, heated battle with her over any one word, yet it does boggle the mind with the lack of sensiblilty and logic displayed by multitudes of people. Though I hear it all around me daily and accept it, it just doesn’t make sense. But thanks to all those who helped to validate my version with statistics as well as agreement. As for the crazy U-boat captain and the foolscap emails, well really what’s the point in joining a conversation without any rational contribution, I mean what was that all about?

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Posted: 25 April 2007 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I think it was a little light relief…

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Posted: 25 April 2007 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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My mother continues to believe the word “faux” is pronounced “fox” no matter how often she has been told otherwise, she chooses to dig in her heals so as not to be corrected by anyone younger, and sounds ridiculous when she is refering to a “fox-mink coat”.

Precisely how Shakespeare would have pronounced it. Anglicization of foreign words was the common principle in the English language until quite recently. To have pronounced the word in the French manner would have sounded affected.

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Posted: 26 April 2007 03:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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mysterry - 25 April 2007 04:49 AM

I have long since recovered from the discovery that large numbers of people use this phrase incorrectly, though I understand the ease with which one would hear this phrase without the “k” sound since so many people do not enuciate clearly these days and even the rationalization and explainations by those who truly believe that the correct version is “thing”, however I can’t understand why they would choose to believe that it makes sense once they have been explained why the “think” version exists.

I learned the “thing” version and I understand that the “think” version appears to make more sense.  I will probably continue to use the “thing” version (not that I use this expression all that much to start with) simply because it sounds right; the “think” version sounds awkward to me.

mysterry - 25 April 2007 04:49 AM

… it does boggle the mind with the lack of sensiblilty and logic displayed by multitudes of people. Though I hear it all around me daily and accept it, it just doesn’t make sense.

As far as that goes, what’s good about good-bye?

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