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October 8, 2012
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Yes, on the internet, 'thing' is way ahead--and we all know how efficiently the internet spreads misinformation. This particular phrase warp is just one more example of that. It's much akin to the younger generation using "prolly" instead of "probably", an abbreviation that has spread to all corners due to both the internet and texting. I'm afraid we might be quite dismayed to find out how many younger people are under the assumption that "prolly" is a real word, just as many people believe the think/thing phrase has always been "thing".
I guess the internet is just a new way of causing change in our constantly evolving language.
Yes, and when you said "HS, you seem to be just pipping me", I spent a few minutes trying to figure out what you were saying, lol! I finally decided "pipping" must be the equivalent of our "beating" or "topping" or "outdoing". Don't know if that is correct or not, but "pipping" is definitely a word you don't hear in America. The things we take for granted! ;)
Thanks so much for the tip on the blog! I'll be sure to check it out.
The differences between Americanisms and Britishisms is a never ending source of fascination, and one that would be worth an entire thread of its own! I frequent a site that is fairly evenly divided between Americans and Brits, and through the last several years we've had many good laughs at the confusion that can exist between the "two" languages. To add to the confusion for me, I'm a fifth-generation Texan, and we have often been accused of having our own language altogether! ;)
Here, a garden is a plot that has been plowed into rows in order to grow crops of vegetables. Sometimes you might also hear "flower garden", but most often that would be instead a "flower bed". Sometimes we use "lawn" instead of "yard" to describe an expanse of open grass; however, even though a lawn is always a yard, a yard is not always a lawn, because it may sometimes be only dirt rather than grass. But the word "garden" is never, ever used here to describe an open expanse of grass.
It's a wonder we can communicate at all! ;)
Oh, I don't think it has anything to do with feeling "superior". Lord knows, I have errors in almost everything I write, like anyone else! :D As for the apostrophe useage, I don't think your example of the Greengrocer's apostrophe is quite the same as these yard signs, because when you see a sign that says "The Brown's", what you are reading is that this house belongs to ONE Brown. So unless you are a family of one, it would simply be incorrect.
And the rules between British English and American English---oh, my goodness, that's another huge pit to fall into! Quotation marks in different places and the like. Sometimes what one side of the pond sees as incorrect actually is not, depending on where you are.
Warsaw Will, you are indeed a diplomat. :) However, I can't accept the misheard version of this quote simply because its use has grown in popularity. over the past couple of decades. If I did that, I'd also have to accept other "progressions" of the language that have increased over the past several years, namely the misuse of (or complete lack of) punctuation. I know we all flub up on that fairly regularly, but it does seem that it has become a more widespread problem over the last twenty years or so. (Does anybody else want to scream when they see those decorative lawn signs proclaiming "The Green's" or "The Smith's"? Ah, but that's a story for another day. :D )
Dang, I understand why using "think" in this phrase sounds awkward to you and many others; it's because we don't usually consider the word "think" to be a noun. But during the time when this phrase first cropped up, "think" was indeed used as a noun, as in, "I believe what I need is a good long think." Granted, not usually the way we use it today, but that's the way it was then.
The problem is that "thinkcoming" and "thingcoming" run together and sound the same. That's why so many people misquote it. As far as it being logical with the word "thing", think of it this way: how can you have ANOTHER thing, if you haven't had a first thing? In other words, in order for "thing" to make logical sense, you'd have to say, "If you thing this, then you have ANOTHER thing coming." See the flaw in your logic?
This is what happens whenever people mishear a quote; they stretch the meaning of what they think they hear to fit. After they've said it incorrectly all their lives, of course the original phrase sounds incorrect to them.
What always surprises me is that people who have always used the "you've got another thing coming" version often have no idea that "think" was used in the original (and logical) phrase. As one language expert put it: Some people might think there’s no difference between a clever turn of phrase and an ignorant mistake, but they have another think coming.
Just because it's the way you've always heard it doesn't make it correct. Using "thing" in this phrase doesn't have any logic behind it at all.
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