• Sonderzeichen
  • Lautschrift
Falscher Eintrag

You've got another think (auch: thing) coming - *

60 Antworten   

You've got another think (fälschl. auch: thing) coming



Beispiele/ Definitionen mit Quellen

We've been over this before. 'Thing' is widespread, but wrong.
Verfasserhm -- us (236141) 03 Dez 17, 07:44
Kontext/ Beispiele

Misheard enough times, think became thing. So how should modern newspapers transcribe the president's remarks? Let's listen to the president one more time.
WERTHEIMER: Now, I think it's a close call. But the official White House transcript landed on "thing." And in the end so did the paper of record, The New York Times. And if that's the case, it would seem the president is with the majority on this usage.
Is it "misheard" if you grow up hearing "thing" instead of "think," or is this evidence of language variety/change? Apparently both forms have existed side by side for over 100 years. Even if "thing" was a mistake in 1898, it strikes me as audacious to claim that teenagers growing up in Michigan in 2017 are making a mistake when they say it today.

According to the NPR discussion "most" Americans say "you've got another thing coming." Perhaps "think" is a shibboleth for some speakers of AE, but I question wheher the thing/think difference is (primarily?) regional.

We've been over this before. 'Thing' is widespread, but wrong.
hm--us apparently believes that "think" is the only correct version, the one that should be used by educated Americans. I would argue, however, that President Obama is a highly educated and eloquent speaker of AE. He uses "thing." So do I.

Apparently "another thing coming" has been around almost as long as "another think coming." Perhaps Americans in the Midwest, many with German heritage, were aware that carrying Auslautsverhärtung into English contributed to a German accent. Maybe they hypercorrected "think" to "thing," causing a reanalysis of the idiom. Personally, I see "another thing coming" as a subtle threat, whereas "another think coming" (which I was unaware of before coming across the earlier discussions in LEO) states simply that the person ought to reconsider. Whatever the origin of the idiom, "another thing coming" has been thriving in my part of the country for over a hundred years and is used by, in my opinion, everyone.

I understand that hm--us's concern is that people using LEO learn correct, standard English. Some people, like her, consider "another thing coming" to be a non-standard error, hence the tag "fälschl." Other people consider it a standard variation on an idiom, and they would find the current LEO entry accurate.

Good luck! Whatever marking LEO chooses will be disagreed with by some.
#1VerfasserAmy-MiMi (236989) 03 Dez 17, 19:00
Supported. I too believe that "think" is the only correct version for "You / the person ought to reconsider", usually a relatively strong suggestion that someone is quite wrong, sometimes with the hint of a threat. I, for one, notice it every time people say "thing" for this and hold it against them. Don't teach it.

(Note that, in addition to the influence of relatively recent German immigration to parts of the US Mid-West, New York City has a large Yiddish influence. I'm not sure when the NYT abandoned competent copy editing, but caution should be used in concluding that anything printed there is correct standard English or reflects majority language usage. )
#2VerfasserJurist (US) (804041) 03 Dez 17, 19:20
Does one really need to look for a German or Yiddish influence here? It's not uncommon for a set phrase to be altered simply because it's not understood or is understood differently. Compare 'to tow [instead of toe] the line', or 'off one's own back [instead of bat]'. (I would consider both of these to be wrong.)

Personally, I've never read or heard 'another thing coming'.
#3VerfasserHecuba - UK (250280) 03 Dez 17, 20:39
Kontext/ Beispiele

Definition of *have another thing coming*

—used to say that someone is wrong or mistaken If he thinks he can fool me, he has another thing coming.

Revelatory, I never knew it should be 'think'.
#4Verfasserpapousek (343122) 03 Dez 17, 20:50
I was going to write that it must be "thing", because "think" is not a substantive. But then I had a think about it and deleted my post.
#5Verfasserisabelll (918354) 04 Dez 17, 11:01
#4: Revelatory, I never knew it should be 'think'.

That was exactly my reaction too when I found out about this just a few years ago. There again, I'm one of those who say "somethink" for "something" and have only one pronunciation for "ng" in "singer" and "finger". (The latter phenomenon is apparently common to the Midlands and the north-west of England).

So I'm inclined to agree with all of the relevant parts of #1 for the UK.
#6VerfasserKinkyAfro (587241) 04 Dez 17, 12:09
If 'thing' is taking over, so be it -- there's not much one can do about it.

But you have to admit there's no logic to If you think x, you've got another thing coming. Another thing in addition to what?

I suppose the variant came about because 'think' is used in an unconventional -- rather humorous -- way in the original expression. Which is, of course, another reason to prefer the original.

#1 I wouldn't say that the expression with 'think' means that the person ought to reconsider. It means that they'll soon find out that they were wrong.
#7VerfasserHecuba - UK (250280) 04 Dez 17, 13:27
There is something one can do about it, and that is for dictionaries to list the correct version, not the eggcorn.

It is jawdroppingly astonishing to me that this eggcorn should ever be listed in any dictionary. If that's the case, no wonder there are so many people who are confused about what the right form, and the logical derivation, is! As Hecuba points out in #3, there are many other eggcorns that are widespread, but obviously no one would ever think of making a dictionary entry out of them.

The whole point of a dictionary is, among other things, so that if people look up a word, they can find the correct spelling. That's why it would also be wrong for dictionaries to list *miniscule instead of minuscule, or to give the principal parts as lead-*lead-*lead, or to raise any of hundreds of common errors to the level of a fait accompli.

I am sympathetic to people who are astonished to find out that the version they thought they knew was wrong -- in part, precisely because dictionaries and editors have evidently failed them in the past. That must be a very unsettling feeling. But their need for a more reliable source is all the more reason for more clarity on this error, not less.

>>But you have to admit there's no logic to If you think x, you've got another thing coming. Another thing in addition to what?

That's really the salient point. No one says 'If you *thing X,' because it would make no sense -- just as 'thing' makes no sense in the other half of the sentence.
#8Verfasserhm -- us (236141) 04 Dez 17, 17:29
#7 I wouldn't say that the expression with 'think' means that the person ought to reconsider. It means that they'll soon find out that they were wrong.

They should rethink/reconsider/think again (and come to a different, perhaps opposite, conclusion), to avoid being in error (possibly with undesirable consequences).
#9VerfasserJurist (US) (804041) 04 Dez 17, 18:32
Sorry hm--us, not supported. If the 'thing' variation is already in MW (see my last post above) then I fear this ship has already sailed...

(Also, despite the fact that I am persuaded that it should be 'think,' I'm going to carry on saying 'thing', because that's how I know the phrase and I'm not that bothered about my Redewendungen being logical. So few are.)
#10Verfasserpapousek (343122) 04 Dez 17, 21:12
Also I don't feel at all 'unsettled' by the discovery that I've been using the phrase 'wrong', because I don't believe it is wrong, despite being convinced that it started out as 'think'.

I know well that 'unsettling feeling' you speak of -- discovering in your 20s that the possessive 'its' has no apostrophe, for example (the horror!) -- but that is absolutely not my reaction to 'thing.' I am in equal parts fascinated by the etymology, amused by the 'humorous aspect' of the original phrase (as someone (Hecuba?) described it up-thread), and mildly bemused by how passionately some people feel about it!
#11Verfasserpapousek (343122) 04 Dez 17, 21:24
MW is notoriously lax/descriptivist, and it has had other things in it in the past (like IIRC *miniscule) that are clear errors. Especially in a dictionary such as LEO that is addressed toward learners, I would go more by usage guides and dictionaries with usage panels such as AHD, but failing that, by logic and common sense. There is no defensible reason to promote, or cherish, a version of the saying that is devoid of all meaning, when all it takes to make sense is to spell the real one correctly.
#12Verfasserhm -- us (236141) 04 Dez 17, 21:26
There is also a risk of sounding illiterate to some people (who do not accept an entry in such a descriptionist dictionary as an excuse).
#13VerfasserJurist (US) (804041) 04 Dez 17, 23:17
#1, #10, #11 +1

Garner puts this at Stage 4 on the Language Change Index (along with hopefully as a sentence adverb in place of I hope, one of my pet peeves ;)):

Stage 4: The form becomes virtually universal but is opposed on cogent grounds by a few linguistic stalwarts (the traditionalists that David Foster Wallace dubbed “snoots”: syntax nudniks of our time).

He places some of the blame on the heavy metal band Judas Priest and the 1982 hit You've Got Another Thing Coming.
#14Verfasserpatman2 (527865) 05 Dez 17, 06:00
Garner puts this at Stage 4 on the Language Change Index ...
Stage 4: The form becomes virtually universal

Whether or not it's virtually universal in AE (Garner's Index is of "Modern American Usage"), I really don't think it is in BE -- yet.
#15VerfasserHecuba - UK (250280) 05 Dez 17, 10:56
Of the four BE speakers in this thread, three have expressed surprise over 'think'.

Jurist, if someone wants to consider me 'illiterate' because I've only ever heard and known and used the version with 'thing', then I think that says an awful lot more about them than me, doesn't it?
#16Verfasserpapousek (343122) 05 Dez 17, 11:06
Continuing #15

Look at this graph for BE -- though it is based on books rather than other media or speech:

This is the corresponding graph for AE:
#17VerfasserHecuba - UK (250280) 05 Dez 17, 11:20
I would support a (esp. Am.) tag
#18Verfasserjamqueen (1129860) 05 Dez 17, 12:26
The Ngrams linked by Hecuba are interesting. In both AE and BE "another thing" seems to precede "another think" in printed sources by about sixty years.

The first occurrence of "another thing" in BE is 1823; "another think" doesn't show up until 1887.
In AE the dates are 1833 for "another thing" and 1896 for "another think."
#19VerfasserAmy-MiMi (236989) 05 Dez 17, 13:07
In both AE and BE "another thing" seems to precede "another think" ...

Yes, I noticed that.
But in fact, at least in the BE one, if you look for "got another thing/think coming" or "have another thing/think coming", the early ones vanish almost entirely. So those early instances of "another thing/think coming" were presumably part of other formulations*, not the one we're talking about, and so are not relevant.

The graphs, for both BE and AE, seem to support the view that the "think" version is still very much alive.

* For instance something like "This year x is all the rage, but there may be another thing coming along next year". (I'm sure one could think of a better example.)
#20VerfasserHecuba - UK (250280) 05 Dez 17, 15:44
Aus der Perspektive eines Nicht-Muttersprachlers, der aber ein wenig Ahnung von Sprachwandel und Etymologie hat: Mir kommt es so vor, als wäre die thing-Variante die ursprüngliche.

Die thing-Variante ist für mich semantisch logischer (da kommt was auf dich zu), und damit ist ihre Entstehung leichter zu erklären als die der think-Variante. "You've got another think coming" entspricht formal nicht dem gewünschten semantischen Inhalt: Wenn ich ausdrücken will, dass "somebody ought to reconsider", wieso sollte ich das dadurch ausdrücken, dass ich behaupte, der entsprechende Gedanke sei schon auf dem Weg?

Es scheint mir einleuchtender, dass die Phrase ursprünglich vielleicht eine Drohung war, oder vielleicht die Schilderung der Konsequenz einer irrigen Meinung (if you do this, not that, you've got another thing coming than the one you hoped for), und dass dann, als das nicht mehr durchsichtig war, per Volksetymologie das "thing" durch "think" ersetzt und die Redewendung auch inhaltlich umgedeutet wurde zu "you should reconsider". Man müsste sich mal ansehen, wie die frühesten Belege im Kontext verwendet wurden.
#21VerfasserGreysnow (765275) 06 Dez 17, 15:53
"Another think coming is the original form of the colloquial phrase ..."
Of course I've no idea how reliable this website is, though I think what it says here is right.

It does give some fairly old examples:
Having elected him republicans think they have some voice in the distribution of the spoils and there is where they have another think coming to them. [The Daily Argus (1897)]

Those who thought taxes high in the past will have another think coming in the future. [Clinton Mirror (1907)]

# 21: Wenn ich ausdrücken will, dass "somebody ought to reconsider", wieso sollte ich das dadurch ausdrücken, dass ich behaupte, der entsprechende Gedanke sei schon auf dem Weg?...
I agree with your reasoning. As I said in # 7, I don't think it means they ought to reconsider. I think it means that events (or whatever) will be coming that will make the person change their opinion: you think this now, but what actually happens will make you think the opposite -- your first opinion will be replaced by another, a second, opinion.
Or possibly they will, of necessity, find themselves reconsidering the matter, but I don't see any "ought" in it.

die Schilderung der Konsequenz einer irrigen Meinung (if you do this, not that, you've got another thing coming than the one you hoped for)
I think you've made rather a jump there: the regular formulation is "if you think this" and is not about the person doing anything.
And I think "another thing" would be odd: if we imagine somebody originating the expression, using "thing", I think they would have been far more likely to say "a different thing".
#22VerfasserHecuba - UK (250280) 06 Dez 17, 17:13
hm--us, in response to your message in the 'there again' thread ("I'm glad you found it fascinating; it made me want to bang my head against the wall, to have so many people in a forum where everyone usually cares about good usage be so determinedly and happily oblivious to it. Ah well."), all I can say is that all of us have expressions or words that drive us up the wall when used 'incorrectly', and all of us object to certain words and phrases evolving and taking on new lives of their own. I don't mind people saying 'decimate' to mean to destroy completely, for example, but I object to 'enormity' as a reference simply to size. You obviously feel very strongly about this one, while others don't.

And I never thought I'd have to say this to you, whose contributions I enjoy very much, but you're treating us like idiots who won't see linguistic sense, rather than grown ups who've read the discussion, enjoyed it (just like jalapeno), digested it, and decided we still don't mind very much that 'our' form is actually the 'eggcorn'.
#23Verfasserpapousek (343122) 06 Dez 17, 21:10
#16 Of the four BE speakers in this thread, three have expressed surprise over 'think'.
Blame Judas Priest, the English heavy metal band formed in 1969 in Birmingham, England. An entire generation of adolescents and young adults were indelibly imprinted during their formative years.

** edit **

#15 (Garner's Index is of "Modern American Usage")
The latest version (2016) is called Garner's Modern English Usage. An interesting departure from earlier books that were indeed titled Garner's Modern American Usage.

A quote from the book:
"During the mid-20th century, the English language's center of gravity shifted from England to the United States."

I doubt many BE speakers would agree with that. ;)

#24Verfasserpatman2 (527865) 06 Dez 17, 22:40
#22: Hecuba, du hast mich schon so halb überzeugt. Those who thought taxes high in the past will have another think coming in the future ist ein gutes Beispiel, wie der Ausdruck auch "logisch" aus der "think"-Variante entstanden sein könnte. Nur beim "do this / think this" hast du mich falsch verstanden, aber macht nichts.

Letztendlich ist das Ganze aber zwar etymologisch nicht uninteressant, aber für mich doch eine eher leidenschaftslose Geschichte. Ich bin tatsächlich durch Judas Priest "indelibly imprinted", das gestehe ich gerne, und werde die "thing"-Variante weiter benutzen, mag sie einigen auch als inkorrekt gelten. Darüber aufregen aber, dass einige eine andere Variante als ich benutzen, werde ich micht nicht. (I think I prefer Priest to preaching.)
#25VerfasserGreysnow (765275) 07 Dez 17, 10:21
#24: The latest version (2016) is called Garner's Modern English Usage. An interesting departure from earlier books that were indeed titled Garner's Modern American Usage.
That's interesting - thank you for pointing that out.

"During the mid-20th century, the English language's center of gravity shifted from England to the United States."
Of course American English is hugely influential around the world, but obviously that doesn't mean that "English" is now synonymous with "American English".
Faced with the title "Modern English Usage", one would probably check where the book was published and deduce that in this case American English is meant. To be fair, there are presumably lots of British books in which "English" is used to mean BE.
#26VerfasserHecuba - UK (250280) 07 Dez 17, 12:02

I had never heard/seen the "thing" version until this thread, and to my mind "think" is the only version that makes any sense given the original expression "If he/she/you/they think ... has/have another think coming".

As for popousek's statement that "Of the four BE speakers in this thread, three have expressed surprise over 'think'", well this BE user expresses suprise over the use of "thing":-). In any case, the very few English mother-tongue users of Leo, either BE or AE, are hardly a representative sample of English usage. I'd rely on reputable usage guides. Fowler's Modern English Usage, for example, has the following entry: "think (noun). This late-coming word (not recorded until 1834, though the corresponding verb is OE) is labelled colloq. in the New SOED (1993). It is commonly used in such sentences as Have a think about it and You have another think coming 'You are greatly mistaken'."
There is no entry for "thing coming".
#27VerfasserAnne(gb) (236994) 07 Dez 17, 21:40
Do I detect a generational divide emerging?... ;-)
#28VerfasserKinkyAfro (587241) 08 Dez 17, 01:10
If so, let's get escoville in here. (-:
#29Verfasserhm -- us (236141) 08 Dez 17, 01:12
Sorry, not escoville here. To me, both alternatives ("got another think/thing coming") are pronounced the same in rapid speech, so it's just a matter of spelling. And, like hm--us, I've always understood the phrase as being with think, and if I ever saw it written with thing (which I cannot recall ever having seen before today), I would consider it an error (or an eggcorn, if you will.)

But, given the testimony here by literate people who interpret it (and presumably write it) with thing, and the substantial evidence presented of citations with thing, I would concede -- contrary to my own usage -- that the phrase with thing should not be marked as erroneous.

(BTW and a little off-topic, I played the audio clip cited in #1, and I hear Obama as saying "they've got another think coming." I think it was transcribed incorrectly.)

But let's see what escoville says...
#30VerfasserMartin--cal (272273) 08 Dez 17, 02:17
FWIW: Für mich deutschen Muttersprachler war "another think coming" immer logisch und richtig und einigermaßen schmunzelig, weil das Verb "think" hier zu einem Nomen gemacht wird.

"Another thing" hielt ich einfach immer für falsch, unlogisch und ohne jeden Bezug zum Inhalt der Redewendung. Für mich gehörte das zur Kategorie "would of" statt "would have".

Maybe I have another think coming.
#31VerfasserJalapeño (236154) 08 Dez 17, 09:37
Zu den Ngrams oben noch:

Wenn man "have" ergänzt, also nach "have another thing/think coming" sucht, sieht das Bild anders aus. Da ist die "think"-Variante deutlich häufiger.


In BE kommt "have another thing coming" kein einziges Mal vor:

Und die "thing-Variante" im AE Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts erklärt sich zumindest zu großen Teilen durch solche Treffer wie diesen hier:

A photograph will be taken of my ugly mug and sent to you for ulterior purposes : I have another thing coming out, which I did not put in the way of the Scribners, I can scarce tell how;

Die Ngrams für "had another thing/think coming" liefern ein ähnliches Bild, sowohl in BE als auch in AE ist "thing" bis in die 1970er quasi nicht existent:

#32VerfasserJalapeño (236154) 08 Dez 17, 09:45
Like Martin-cal, I have always regarded the think/thing confusion as a mistake arising from mishearing the final phoneme, in the same way that could've is misheard as could of (sic!). In my experience, this confusion isn't restricted to the phrase from the OP, it's is also encountered –  in inverted form –  in the pronunciation of something or anything as somethink / anythink (sic!)
That being said, I've also never seen the phrase written with thing, so I'm not surprised by the results of Jalapeño's ngram search.
#33Verfassercovellite (520987) 08 Dez 17, 11:20
Re #33: this confusion...is also encountered –  in inverted form –  in the pronunciation of something or anything as 'somethink' / 'anythink' (sic!)

...except that, as far as I'm concerned, this isn't confusion but simply my native pronunciation of "something" and "anything" (see my #6 above). :-)
#34VerfasserKinkyAfro (587241) 08 Dez 17, 14:48
It has come to my notice (as my old headmaster used to say) that my opinion has been invited here (this was not a thread I'd opened).

Of course it's 'You've got another think coming.' Where on earth did any other idea come from?

#35Verfasserescoville (237761) 12 Dez 17, 08:33
#16/27: If numbers of native speakers on LEO are important, then I'll add my name to the list of "think" users. I'd never realised there was an alternative view until I read this thread. And if it's a generational thing (#28), I'm 60+.
#36VerfasserSpike BE (535528) 12 Dez 17, 09:08
#36 - And if it's a generational thing (#28), I'm 60+.

Must be a multi-generational thing then; mid-thirties here...
#37Verfassercovellite (520987) 12 Dez 17, 11:01
#37: Must be a multi-generational thing then; mid-thirties here...

But you're not British, are you, according to your LEO profile? Maybe that's significant.

Admittedly isabell (in #5) is presumably in the 60+ category (see her profile).

Perhaps the regional origin of Judas Priest has quite a lot to answer for? :-)
#38VerfasserKinkyAfro (587241) 12 Dez 17, 12:51
But you're not British, are you, according to your LEO profile?
No, I'm not, though I doubt it's especially significant. Given that NZ was colonised by Brits and that immigrants in the less than 200 years since have chiefly originated from the UK (UK-born residents accounted for 6.43% of the population in 2013, NZ-born residents for 74.85% - source: NZ Census), it's safe to say that BE has also been the primary influence on NZ English.
#39Verfassercovellite (520987) 12 Dez 17, 13:56
My mention of the three out of four BE speakers who were surprised by 'thing' wasn't being offered up as conclusive proof, merely an immediate response to Hecuba who said it hadn't become widespread in BE yet. I've just asked my 30-something articulate husband who said 'thing, obviously'.

I know this thread is annoying me more than it really ought, but I've just been to the 'could/was able' thread and the tone there has annoyed me too. One of my favourite things about Leo is learning things about your own language that you didn't know previously. This thread is one such. But I'd rather I learned new things about my language in a spirit of 'here's an interesting thing, papousek, it's actually and originally 'think'" rather than "who are these people who don't care about good usage and use 'thing''?"
#40Verfasserpapousek (343122) 12 Dez 17, 18:05
Belatedly, I would like to thank Anne, Jalapeño, covellite, escoville, and Spike for their additional comments. It really does help to hear from more people, especially so many experienced Leonites, to give Doris or whoever a more balanced picture of the range of usage, and the range of reaction.

I really liked Jalapeño's comparison to 'would of,' which I would also not expect to see in a dictionary or hear defended as equally correct.

papousek, I apologize if my tone became too critical or too personal. I think if your tone had come across as more interested to learn than already convinced, it would have been easier to respond in the same vein.

#41Verfasserhm -- us (236141) 12 Dez 17, 22:19
#40 three out of four BE speakers who were surprised by 'thing'
I think you meant to say 'think' (oh dear, this is getting ridiculous!) -- see your #16.

... Hecuba, who said [thing] hadn't become widespread in BE yet.
Just for the record, I said in #3 that I myself had never read or heard 'thing', and in #15 that I really don't think it is 'virtually universal' in BE (as Garner claims it is in AE).
But it seems that it may indeed have become widespread (however one defines that), especially among younger people.
#42VerfasserHecuba - UK (250280) 13 Dez 17, 01:07
Hm--us, my very first post was "revelatory, I never knew it should be think." That's all I said. No clearer expression of wanting to learn or take new information on board. At that point, the thread was fascinating. It was your #8 that got my back up (and all of Jurist's posts). Suddenly "I" (I'm taking it too personally, I accept) was in a group of people being belittled ("it must be so unsettling to discover you're wrong") for saying something that I consider normal and that I've been brought up saying. That's no way to learn something about our own language.

All I will repeat is that on Leo you learn fascinating things about your own language and other people's usage of it, which you don't always consider to be correct. Rather than going in all guns blazing ("it is jawdroppingly astounding to me that anyone believes this form to be correct" -- paraphrasing #8), please be a bit gentler.* The 'if I were'/'if I was' thread is just as annoying. Rather than a spirit of "how interesting, the British are less bothered by 'if I was'", we're being treated to a thread of 'I consider this form to be a sign of being illiterate" and "look how bad it's got in Britain". The tone's alienating. People aren't going to dare speak up with their usages if they're just going to be treated to a "I can't believe you say that and you claim to be a language enthusiast" in return (see your comment in jalapeno's other thread). I'd your want to see true usage reflected in these disconsolate they all need to be a bit more... conciliatory.

And thank you for apologising for your tone -- but blaming it on my intransigence.

* I (hope I) learned this lesson the hard way when I tried to get 'Grand Canary' scrapped from the dictionary. Something that seemed so very, very wrong to me turned out to be...in use. Think AmyMimi was one of the people who contributed to put me right.
#43Verfasserpapousek (343122) 13 Dez 17, 02:02
Hecuba, yes to all.

"I'd your want to see true usage reflected in these disconsolate they all need to be a bit more... conciliatory" should read "if you want to see true usage reflected in these threads...". I've got a daughter with chickenpox, a baby who won't sleep and a smartphone. Not in the right frame of mind for posting on the internet.

This is just a plea for gentleness. Which seems to be a bit lacking on Leo recently.
#44Verfasserpapousek (343122) 13 Dez 17, 02:07
papousek, I'm very sorry that everything is so difficult for you right now and I'm sorry if any of my comments made you feel worse. I hope you will be able to get some sleep.

I don't want to go back and comb through the thread for who said what when, because it felt unpleasant and unfriendly to me too when it was happening, when some people seemed to be lightly dismissing my point of view. At that point, I would imagine that other voices in favor of traditional usage on this point might have also been reluctant to post.

Now that there is a range of opinion represented, maybe it will be a little easier for everyone to reconsider and reflect, as well as for anyone else to comment who would like to.

Though we probably all agree that enough has largely been said.

#45Verfasserhm -- us (236141) 13 Dez 17, 04:58
Sigh. I don't think this thread got in any way combative until #8. But anyway. I'm just concerned that people aren't going to speak up for their usage in this thread and others when they're being told they're wrong -- and forcefully so -- from the outset. Not that this is a popularity connect, but we're not getting a fair representation.

Anyway, drawing a line under that, this is still a fascinating discussion. One of the most fascinating things i think is that there are two groups of people who are expressing surprise that the other interpretation even exists. Most people in this thread have expressed in some words that it's 'revelatory'. How have we not been exposed to the other version previously? And the division isn't drawn down the usual AE/BE lines, or even by age, or level of education.

I asked the question on social media (as neutrally as I could!) and again, there are lots of comments along the lines of "I have literally never heard 'think'" or "I don't understand why anyone thinks it should be 'thing'?" Anyway, if anyone's interested, it's currently at

thing: 17 votes
think: 4 votes

which does lend support to the generational argument. The four over-40s voted 'thing', the three non-Brits voted 'thing', everyone else is under 40 and British.
#46Verfasserpapousek (343122) 13 Dez 17, 09:16
I think this issue of "thing" vs. "think" is reminiscent of the discussion we had on "edgeways" vs. "edgewise" (although, IIRR, that boiled down to BE vs. AE).

#47VerfasserKinkyAfro (587241) 13 Dez 17, 18:11
hm--us you'll be pleased to know (I'm not being sarcastic I promise!) that I'm doing my bit for the revival of 'think' among the under 40s in Britain with my FB poll. There have been lots of expressions of surprise and ever since one friend posted a link to a guardian article explaining the etymology of the phrase I've had comments including 'truly gobsmacked' and 'this is blowing my mind'. Still no pattern emerging regarding who says what.
#48Verfasserpapousek (343122) 13 Dez 17, 18:49
Kontext/ Beispiele

The reaction resembled the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and – from some, but by no means all, of @guardianstyle’s 53,000 followers – acceptance. In fact some people did not get beyond the first stage, refusing to accept that there could be any possible alternative to “another thing coming”. I’ve not witnessed such polarised opinion on an arcane linguistic issue since the debate over “all mouth and (no) trousers”.

Thanks for the FB awareness-raising campaign and for the tip about the Guardian article. I particularly liked the style blog's comparison to the five stages of grief. (-:

And I had no idea there was any issue over mouth and trousers, but maybe it's better not to know.
#49Verfasserhm -- us (236141) 13 Dez 17, 19:04
I was actually going to stay out of this thread because, to me, the whole thing is fairly silly, truth be told. But then I thought, what the heck. So here's my point of view (for anyone who cares): according to M-W, "think" as a verb has been around since "before the 12th century." However, "think" as a noun was apparently born around 1834 (according to both M-W and etymonline). So for 700 years, the use of "the/a think" would have been unthinkable, or considered wrong and - possibly - laughed or sneered at. Or at least raised some eyebrows.

Obviously, someone around 1834 thought that "if you think ..., you've got another think coming" would make a clever pun, and rightly so. Thus, the "think" noun was born, and now, almost 200 years later, some people insist that "think" is the only correct way of saying this phrase. They even defend their stance with "logic," as if logic had ever played a major role in language. If only language were logical ...

My point is that "thing" would, in many cases, make as much sense in the OP's phrase as the noun "think" does compared to, say "thinking" (gerund) or "thought" (noun). I don't understand why some people have to insist that they're right about "think" when "thing" would work, and has worked in many cases, equally as well (and not just for Judas Priest et al) - just because someone invented it a few decades ago.
#50Verfasserdude (253248) 13 Dez 17, 19:35
Kontext/ Beispiele
Leicht OT:
Wäre dann nicht "think - die Denke" das ideale Neuvorschlagswortpaar? Denke hat zwar noch keine 200 Jahre auf dem Buckel und ist häßlich, aber im Schwange ist es allemal.
#51VerfasserSelima (107) 14 Dez 17, 06:31
My husband's a market researcher and he may have sneaked this question into a nationwide survey this week. The results are just in!

Across the UK it looks like about 65%:35% thing:think, with not much variation from region to region. When you break it down by age range, it looks like this --

18-34 81% thing
35-54 71% thing
55+ 41% thing

So, 'thing' is the more common, by quite a long way, and is only going to get more so.
#52Verfasserpapousek (343122) 19 Dez 17, 08:08
Having come back to and speed-read this thread, I see that someone has misread my only contribution, which was only meant as a joke, and put me in the "thing" camp. At the risk of offending all those on the thread who feel so strongly about this one, I would say that I could not really give a fuck about the whole affair, because I would never never ever use the expression, however spelled or pronounced. Could we not have a Leo thread on "Words and expressions best avoided"? Words and expressions which are a bit clumsy, daft, rude, confusing, inelegant, or generally put the speaker in a bad light? Expressions such as this thing/think thing, or the gratuitous use of rude words, whatever.
#53Verfasserisabelll (918354) 19 Dez 17, 11:36
I don't think I've ever used it in my life, either, and also couldn't care less about what is considered right or wrong (largely agree with dude above), but find it fascinating that it's proved a revelation -- to both the thing camp and the think camp -- that the other expression *even exists*. My little Facebook poll has had more comments than my last post on the birth of my second child (I only post every few years), most of them expressing amazement that anyone actually says (thing or think).
#54Verfasserpapousek (343122) 19 Dez 17, 12:08
#52 How wonderful to have a piece of research conducted specially for us!
We now know what British people say, anyway.
#55VerfasserHecuba - UK (250280) 19 Dez 17, 15:31
völlig OT:
Ich finde den Einsatz von papousek bzw. ihrem Ehemann großartig!
Wie praktisch, einen Marktforscher zum Ehemann zu haben :)
#56Verfasserestrellita (236267) 20 Dez 17, 08:06
>> I could not really give a fuck about the whole affair

>>the gratuitous use of rude words

Thank you so much for that.

#57Verfasserhm -- us (236141) 20 Dez 17, 08:33
I think this is the first time his being a market researcher has proved 'practical'!
#58Verfasserpapousek (343122) 20 Dez 17, 22:18
That just made me chuckle, papousek. :-)
#59Verfasserdude (253248) 20 Dez 17, 22:24
#5 & #53 = examples of dry humor/humour

#50 the use of "the/a think" would have been unthinkable, or considered wrong and - possibly - laughed or sneered at. Or at least raised some eyebrows.

Well said. From Words Confused and Misused by Maurice H. Weseen (1932):

"This misuse of think as a noun is creeping into the speech of many who seem unaware that it is ungrammatical"

It reminds me of other words currently in transition: to gift someone something; to send someone an invite.

#60Verfasserpatman2 (527865) 22 Dez 17, 01:52
i Nur registrierte Benutzer können in diesem Forum posten
LEO benutzt Cookies, um das schnellste Webseiten-Erlebnis mit den meisten Funktionen zu ermöglichen. Es werden teilweise auch Cookies von Diensten Dritter gesetzt. Weiterführende Informationen erhalten Sie in den Hinweisen zu den Nutzungsbedingungen / Datenschutz (Cookies) von LEO.