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Thread: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

  1. #161
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    The expression is recorded long before "To Kill a Mockingbird".

    Here are some examples from 1906 to 1910:

    http://www.google.com/search?tbs=bks:1,cdr:1,cd_min:Jan%201_2%201906,cd_maxec%2031_2%201910&tbo=p&q=%22got+another+think+coming%22&num=10#q=%22got+another+think+coming%22&hl=en&tbs=bks:1,cdr:1,cd_min:Jan+1_2+1906,cd_maxec+31_2+1910&ei=2HiiTOSrEcrCnAftrOSIBA&start=0&sa=N&fp=2dfc80589dce1472

    Quote Originally Posted by jme1323
    The popular version is "thing."
    And you're basing this statement on... what? We have people from different English-speaking countries who are sure it is "think" and others who are sure that it is "thing". We have dictionary entries of both versions. We have examples in literature for both versions. How are you determining which one is "popular"?
    Last edited by JamesM; 29th September 2010 at 1:30 AM.

  2. #162
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Thanks for the info--interesting. There appears to be one example of "another thing coming" as early as 1902, but the expression seems more popular in the "think" form from 1906 onwards.

    That is, until recently... =)

  3. #163
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    I totally agree with you, jme1323.

  4. #164
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    It looks as if no one has yet noted in this thread the dates of first attribution which the Oxford English Dictionary gives for these idioms. The following come from the entries "think" and "thing" respectively:

    [1.]c. to have another think coming
    ...

    1898
    Syracuse (N.Y.) Standard 21 May 8/1 Conroy lives in Troy and thinks he is a corning fighter. This gentleman has another think coming.
    P17. to have another thing coming...
    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 editors of the OED think that the think version came first.

    From my point of view, this information is of no interest in determining which idiom is standard, since by usage they both are. They are used by speakers of standard dialects of English with the exact same meaning. They are used in writing as well as speech. Attempting to pick apart any idiom to determine if it is standard compared to another version of the same idiom accomplishes nothing. Either a given idiom is used by educated speakers or it is not. If it is, then it is a standard idiom. If it is not, it is a nonstandard idiom. The individual parts don't count in the case of any idiom, standard or nonstandard! It is usage and usage alone which determines if a group of words is an idiom, and if it is an idiom, then it is usage and usage alone which determines if that idiom is standard or nonstandard.

  5. #165
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
    ...
    And you're basing this statement on... what? We have people from different English-speaking countries who are sure it is "think" and others who are sure that it is "thing". We have dictionary entries of both versions. We have examples in literature for both versions. How are you determining which one is "popular"?

    I'm basing the assumption on all the obvious available information: years of literature study, television and film viewings, listening to the conversations of my fellow man. I've heard the "think" version in very few cases, and in those cases it could be classified as a play on words. Thus I deem the "thing" version the popular one.

    As well as the grammatically correct one.
    Last edited by panjandrum; 3rd October 2010 at 6:37 PM.

  6. #166
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Jme has an interesting idea that they both should exist correctly, depending on the content of the subordinate clause.
    My only disagreement with post 160 is the statement: The popular version is "thing" , as 159 previous posts have made it quite clear that there is no clear majority on this.

    It is interesting to note that most forum participants claim to have only ever heard the one or the other. (Me too. I say THINK and never realised there was a THING option until the opening of this thread). Just about only Nunty has claimed active recognition of both. It certainly supports the theory that people hear and understand what they expect to hear, rather than what is said.
    Last edited by Spira; 29th September 2010 at 10:17 AM. Reason: More precision

  7. #167
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spira View Post

    It is interesting to note that most forum participants claim to have only ever heard the one or the other. (Me too. I say THINK and never realised there was a THING option until the opening of this thread).
    I'm in complete agreement here. When I first saw the thread title I was ready to jump in with " 'thing' is wrong." It still makes little sense to me, but I guess I'll have to accept it. "Pigeons on the grass. Alas!"

  8. #168
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by jme1323 View Post
    I've read a couple times before that the quote comes from Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird." Lee's version is "You've got another think coming," but whether this is the origin of the expression is debated. The popular version is "thing."
    This thread doesn't support this comment - it seems that popularity is pretty much split 50-50
    Quote Originally Posted by jme1323 View Post
    "You've got another think coming" appears only to be valid when "think" has already been used in the subordinate clause, whereas "thing" applies more generally to conditional scenarios using this sentence structure.
    Disagree - many people, myself included, only use "think".
    Quote Originally Posted by jme1323 View Post
    Since "think" is not a noun,
    Yes it is - "sit there and have a think about what you've done".
    Quote Originally Posted by jme1323 View Post
    I would venture to say that when it is employed, its use is simply a play on words. The proper grammatical phrasing would be "you have another thought coming."
    Again, disagree - I like many people have never heard of "thing" in this usage, so it's not a play on words at all - and not more or less ungrammatical.
    ‘If a chap can’t compose an epic poem while he is weaving a tapestry, he had better shut up.' William Morris.

  9. #169
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    If it is indeed "thing" and I have another one coming.. What was the first 'thing' I received. And now I get to enjoy a second ? or third ?

  10. #170
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by preppie View Post
    If it is indeed "thing" and I have another one coming.. What was the first 'thing' I received. And now I get to enjoy a second ? or third ?
    I think it's asking rather a lot of the English language to expect colloquialisms to make logical sense. When was the last time you saw quadrupeds falling from the clouds when it was raining cats and dogs?
    When you want to fight fire with fire, remember that the professionals use water.

  11. #171
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Only when the hailstones have weird shapes ! But I really think that this one does have some logc.

    "If you think "x" then you have another 'think' coming." makes perfectly good sense. Even if it's merely a bastardized turn of "then you better think about it again".

    I can't sqaueeze "thing" in tho the lgoic at all. And yes, many phrases have no sense - or perhaps not in today's culture. Does anyone really "dial" their phone that much ? BUT it still makes sense knowing the root. I'm sure, somehwere in the cobwebs, I can find an expression that makes no sense because a word has been replaced - perhaps a malapropism or maybe just a misunderstanding. I really think that 'thing' is a misheard word that is now repeated as gospel.

  12. #172
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Well, the "other think" that you thinkists hold on to is in fact a thing ["thing" being a catch all word for something that is not defined].

  13. #173
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by elirlandes View Post
    Well, the "other think" that you thinkists hold on to is in fact a thing ["thing" being a catch all word for something that is not defined].
    Why do you say it's not defined? A think is a period of reflection.

    From the WR dictionary -

    noun
    1 think

    an instance of deliberate thinking; "I need to give it a good think"
    ‘If a chap can’t compose an epic poem while he is weaving a tapestry, he had better shut up.' William Morris.

  14. #174
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    As a fervent thinger, allow me to clarify: The expression "you've got another thing coming" has no pep, verve, logic, rhyme or reason. There is no first "thing" that is being alluded to. You thinkers who are looking for some sort of logic, rationale or justification for why the phrase exists -- you won't find any. It just exists. You don't have to like it, but you have to accept it... just as we thingers accept that your version of the phrase, which sounds unnatural and contrived to our ears, also exists.

    It's a set phrase; a saying that I heard occasionally while I was growing up. Like many sayings in English, people use it without any knowledge of its origin or true meaning. And its "meaning" doesn't matter: I understand well enough what my parents are saying when they tell me "...you've got another thing coming!" I don't ask them what the first "thing" was, unless I want to really get it.
    Ignorance --> fear --> anger --> hate --> violence. || Knowledge => tolerance => acceptance => love => peace.

  15. #175
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    I guess that makes me a fervent "thinker". I like that ! Thanks !

    I heartily agree with you, if it's a thing there probably wasn't a first thing, unless it was the first erroneous 'think' that I had. So, generically, I have another 'thing' coming - and it's specifically a 'think' !

  16. #176
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by fenixpollo View Post
    As a fervent thinger, allow me to clarify: The expression "you've got another thing coming" has no pep, verve, logic, rhyme or reason. There is no first "thing" that is being alluded to. You thinkers who are looking for some sort of logic, rationale or justification for why the phrase exists -- you won't find any. It just exists. You don't have to like it, but you have to accept it... just as we thingers accept that your version of the phrase, which sounds unnatural and contrived to our ears, also exists.

    It's a set phrase; a saying that I heard occasionally while I was growing up. Like many sayings in English, people use it without any knowledge of its origin or true meaning. And its "meaning" doesn't matter: I understand well enough what my parents are saying when they tell me "...you've got another thing coming!" I don't ask them what the first "thing" was, unless I want to really get it.
    A similar argument exists for the debate between "I could care less" and "I couldn't care less". Both are used by many, many people - which one is correct? The answer is both of them are correct, because they are both used extensively. To my ears the first one makes no sense, but as a set phrase, I now understand it because I know what people mean when they use it.

  17. #177
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Very interesting debate. I am a firm "thing"er simply because until today I had never heard of "a think." Although, just spoke to my mum in her 70's and she had only ever heard "think".

    At the risk of punning, I think a point some people have missed is that the 2 sayings are not always interchangeable.

    "If you think I'm going out in that rain, you're got another think/thing comming."

    works either way. But without the initial word "think" to provide a word play it doesn't work.

    "If you expect me to go out in that rain, you've got another thing/think comming."

    In this example "think" doesn't make sense.

    I've also heard it applied to things that can't think.

    "If that tree drops a branch on my new car, it's got another thing comming."

    Trees, presumably, don't think. (At least I hope they don't, 'cause I prune!)

  18. #178
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    I've heard it said both ways, and people have pretty good arguments for either variant, so who knows which came first -- but I've always thought of it as "you've got another think coming" (a slangy way of saying "you better think again").

  19. #179
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayta View Post
    [....]

    I've also heard it applied to things that can't think.

    "If that tree drops a branch on my new car, it's got another thing comming."

    Trees, presumably, don't think. (At least I hope they don't, 'cause I prune!)
    This is interesting. I don't think I have ever heard this applied to inanimate objects. As I have heard it used, it is a warning or a threat, which wouldn't be much use if the object wasn't capable of thought.

    Above, the point was made that we probably hear what we expect to hear, but I believe I always hear it with think as the verb. I wouldn't be startled to hear it used with another word for mental processing, like "expect" but I wouldn't expect it to be used with other verbs.

    (I am of the think ... think persuasion.)

  20. #180
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    Re: You've got another 'thing' / 'think' coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayta View Post
    "If you expect me to go out in that rain, you've got another thing/think comming."
    [...]
    "If that tree drops a branch on my new car, it's got another thing comming."
    I would happily say "think" in both your examples, Kayta.

    (A girl should always listen to her mother....)
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