The Continuing Insult To The English Language

INT21

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Merriam-Webster has designated "they" (used in the singular gender-less sense) as their 2019 word of the year.

SOURCE: https://apnews.com/0b88fde3eeb023355fc2be0f8955a0b5
We;
i bet @INT21 has something to say about this
INT21 could report you for deliberate provocation.

But today he is feeling generous. :)

Anyway, Henry, I prefer the word to be used in it's original context.

One does need to use something when one does not know the correct word.

It's a bit like the word 'one' that I use a lot. It shows I am addressing the general company and not a single person/group.

INT21.
 

henry

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i prefer it to zee and zer, or the plethora of unpalatable alternatives, since we already use use it 3ps as above
 

Zeke Newbold

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`So if you think you're going to...so and so and so and so...well, you've got another THING coming.`

That's how I always remember that bumptious fixed phrase going. Except now I keep reading and hearing it rendered as ` another THINK coming`.

Another think coming. Eh, what?

As far as I can recall I first came across this modification (if that's what it is) in one of Craig Brown's satirical skits ( he had Harold Pinter saying it) some years ago. Then I thought it was quite waggish. However, since that time I've come across the `think` variation being used in non-satirical contexts as though this is what the phrase has always been - and I have just been privately misconstruing it all these years. (Don't ask me where - but I have for sure).

In fact I did consider putting this post in the Mandela Effect thread, so confusing do I find it.

So - can somebody tell me: is it another `thing` or another` think` - or is there a choice, with the latter being a recent modification? (If the latter then it is just lazy, badly used English I would say).
 

Mythopoeika

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`So if you think you're going to...so and so and so and so...well, you've got another THING coming.`

That's how I always remember that bumptious fixed phrase going. Except now I keep reading and hearing it rendered as ` another THINK coming`.

Another think coming. Eh, what?

As far as I can recall I first came across this modification (if that's what it is) in one of Craig Brown's satirical skits ( he had Harold Pinter saying it) some years ago. Then I thought it was quite waggish. However, since that time I've come across the `think` variation being used in non-satirical contexts as though this is what the phrase has always been - and I have just been privately misconstruing it all these years. (Don't ask me where - but I have for sure).

In fact I did consider putting this post in the Mandela Effect thread, so confusing do I find it.

So - can somebody tell me: is it another `thing` or another` think` - or is there a choice, with the latter being a recent modification? (If the latter then it is just lazy, badly used English I would say).
AFAIK, it should be 'think' - as in, 'you'll have to think again'.
 

EnolaGaia

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` ... So - can somebody tell me: is it another `thing` or another` think` - or is there a choice, with the latter being a recent modification? (If the latter then it is just lazy, badly used English I would say).
There was a later addition / variant involved, but it was the reverse of what you suspected ...

The original phrase said "think", not "thing", and it's attested back to the 19th century.

In recent decades, it's been mis-quoted as "another thing coming" (cf. the 80s-era Judas Priest song), and this mistaken variant is so often encountered it's now touted as the more popular version, even though it makes no sense at all.

https://www.npr.org/2013/01/05/168678901/another-think-coming-scrutinizing-an-oft-misused-phrase

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/usage-another-think-coming-or-another-thing-coming
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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I've always known the phase as "... another think coming", the meaning being that if you think one thing, you're mistaken (and therefore you will have another think (thought, in other words) coming when you are corrected). My parents said it quite a bit (at least I think that's where I'm familiar with it from) so I took it to be a Northern English thing.

But in recent years I've noticed that it seems to be USA people who use the version of "another thing coming"... which to me doesn't make any sense, as EnolaGaia said.

I'm in no way saying it's only USA people who say it wrongly, or owt, just saying that in my experience of what I've seen it has only been USA people who say it that way.


(And I don't know what the heck is wrong with my grammar tonight... USA people... *taps forehead* really, brain? Is that the best you can come up with? Apologies.)
 

INT21

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I've always known the phase as "... another think coming", the meaning being that if you think one thing, you're mistaken (and therefore you will have another think (thought, in other words) coming when you are corrected).)
Hmmm.

But the topic IS insults to the English language. Doesn't that imply grammatically correct usage ?
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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Hmmm.

But the topic IS insults to the English language. Doesn't that imply grammatically correct usage ?
Do you mean the phrase in question is wrong because it isn't grammatically correct?

I would say that "insults to the English language" could also include phrases being changed incorrectly from their original usage (i.e. 'another thing coming' instead of 'another think coming').

:)
 

INT21

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Do you mean the phrase in question is wrong because it isn't grammatically correct?

I would say that "insults to the English language" could also include phrases being changed incorrectly from their original usage (i.e. 'another thing coming' instead of 'another think coming').

:)
Grammar.

A bit like the American use of 'I could care less'.

INT21.
 

EnolaGaia

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I've always known the phase as "... another think coming", the meaning being that if you think one thing, you're mistaken (and therefore you will have another think (thought, in other words) coming when you are corrected). My parents said it quite a bit (at least I think that's where I'm familiar with it from) so I took it to be a Northern English thing.
The phrase originated in the US, and its original form said "think." "Think" (noun) was a casual / colloquial expression for an incident / incidence of thoughtful consideration in early 19th century American English - e.g., "to have a think about it."


But in recent years I've noticed that it seems to be USA people who use the version of "another thing coming"... which to me doesn't make any sense, as EnolaGaia said.

I'm in no way saying it's only USA people who say it wrongly, or owt, just saying that in my experience of what I've seen it has only been USA people who say it that way.
I'm unable to find any firm claims as to where / when the mistaken "thing" version originated.

I can't say I recall ever hearing anyone use the "thing" version. I know my parents' and grandparents' generation didn't say "thing." The phrase was less common among my own generation, but I still don't recall any friends, colleagues, etc., using the "thing" version.

Until this issue surfaced today and I checked, I'd always thought the Judas Priest song was saying "think coming" - just as I'd always heard in conversation all my life.

In any case ...

To the extent the "thing coming" variant's popularity - if not its origin - traces back to the Judas Priest song, it's Brits who are to blame. :reyes:
 
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I used to think it was "thing" but learned later that it was "think". I think I misheard it whenever someone said it and then it went from there. Of course when you really think of what is being said, "think" is the correct word. It's kind of like misheard song lyrics, many of which I've also learned incorrectly. Lol
 

Ermintruder

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I used to think it was "thing" but learned later that it was "think"
I would've thought surely this is close to being an eggcorn instance.....an "intra-lingual phono-semantic match", rather than a strict mondegreen. But for many older listeners it is perhaps a bit of a semi-elective Mumpsimus

In linguistics, an eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect (sometimes called oronyms). The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original but plausible in the same context, such as "old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease". An eggcorn can be described as an intra-lingual phono-semantic matching, a matching in which the intended word and substitute are from the same language.
On further consideration- it may even be an example of inferential hypercorrection from what has certainly become a marginalised auldfowk use-case in Bringlish; or: does USE (United States English) support the contemporary idiomatic use of "another think coming"? My gut-feeling is no, it does not.
 

EnolaGaia

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... On further consideration- it may even be an example of inferential hypercorrection from what has certainly become a marginalised auldfowk use-case in Bringlish; or: does USE (United States English) support the contemporary idiomatic use of "another think coming"? My gut-feeling is no, it does not.
If there's any hypercorrection involved, it's the replacement of the original "think" with "thing", based on not knowing or having forgotten that "think" was (and technically still is ... ) known as a noun. If you only recognize "think" as a verb, and you reasonably assume the X in "you've got another X coming" must be a noun, it's understandable that one would presume the nearly identically pronounced "thing" must be what's meant.

"Think" (as a noun) is still listed in both the Oxford and Cambridge Learner's Dictionaries - both of which mention the "you've got another think coming" idiom.

The idiom is still current and viable in American English. I don't hear it as often as I did decades ago, but it's certainly not slipped into archaic status.
 

Zeke Newbold

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Judas Priest You've Got Another Thing Coming.

Great song, poor English.

Explanation of 'think/thing' already covered on this very thread:
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...e-english-language.31931/page-21#post-1788466
Eek! My mistake. I don't often read this thread as I don't really agree with the premise of its title. I rub shoulders with people of all kinds of linguistic backgrounds - Canucks, Aussies etc -all with their own claim to `English`. I have become aware of just how fluidic and consensual our sodding lingo franca is. Often I feel like intervening and saying `That's not kosher English` before remembering that my own version of it is also quite regional and generational.

So if the `You've got another thing coming` phrase had ever come up in class (it never has) then I would have confidently informed my hapless students that they might encounter a `think` variant but that this is a subliterate corruption and they mustn't be lead astray by it.

If there's any hypercorrection involved, it's the replacement of the original "think" with "thing", based on not knowing or having forgotten that "think" was (and technically still is ... ) known as a noun. If you only recognize "think" as a verb, and you reasonably assume the X in "you've got another X coming" must be a noun, it's understandable that one would presume the nearly identically pronounced "thing" must be what's meant.
Well, yes I do know that `think` can be both a verb and a noun. However the latter version is usually preceded by the non-definite article (`a`) - as in `have a think about it`. That's why the phrasing `another think coming` sounds so disconcerting (to me anyway).

I don't find ` another thing coming` to be meaningless. I take it to mean `things won't work out the way you have envisaged they will`. I suspect it may have been lifted from the phrase `And another thing` - which is used when nagging someone with a list of complaints.

Sounds like it's me and Judas Priest against the world then. I'm okay with that.
 
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"Prove", in that saying carries the old meaning of 'to test', a usage that only survives, to the best of my knowledge, in baking, where you 'prove' bread (let it rise) to see if the yeast is alive and working.

So it means the test of a pudding is in the tasting of it.
 

EnolaGaia

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"Prove", in that saying carries the old meaning of 'to test', a usage that only survives, to the best of my knowledge, in baking, where you 'prove' bread (let it rise) to see if the yeast is alive and working. ...
I can think of three other contexts in which this sense of "prove" / "proof" (denoting a test or trial rather than compelling evidence per se) survives:

(1) It's the basis for the label "proving ground" - an area or locale dedicated to testing potentially dangerous (usually military / aerospace) technologies and products.

(2) In minting coins the first new specimens struck to test the equipment, results and / or process are called "proof coins" or "proofs." These coins struck using brand new dies are typically the best available specimens, and they're more highly valued by collectors. The US Mint has sold "proof sets" of each new year's inaugural coinage for decades.

(3) In photography a "proof" is an initial print used to evaluate a new work / image. For casual photographs a "proof sheet" may be initially made with what are essentially thumbnail images from which the photographer can select the best. In commercial / artistic photography, the proofs of a new image (for market) are often signed and sold at a premium price.
 

Ermintruder

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I can think of three other contexts in which this sense of "prove" / "proof" (denoting a test or trial rather than compelling evidence per se) survives
(4) 'galley proofs' as first-rushes from a printing press (especially in the traditional context of newspapers)- cf Case3

(5) 'proof houses' in the sense of testing / warranting firearms & other ordnance (cf Case1)

(6) 'to prove oneself' - a personalised subjection to trial & challenge, usually in a self-combative setting (quite distinct from the faux adversarial arena of the courtroom eg obtaining golden fleeces)
 
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