???Thing or Think

Benjamin Barrett bjb5 at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Sun Feb 8 23:03:19 UTC 2004

This is exactly the sort of posts that occurred on Honyaku. Yet I don't
understand why "thing" is any less logical than "the whole nine yards",
"the Big Apple" or "the sun sets/rises". Sure, there might be historical
reasons for such expressions, but I've never had trouble using or
understanding the intent of any of these idioms or "thing".

As far as "think" being logical, though, it isn't. The unexpected part of
speech is ungrammatical, which makes it witty, though certainly no more

I don't see any reason to switch to think any more than to abandon the
illogical "the sun sets/rises".

Benjamin Barrett

>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]
>On Behalf Of Steve Boatti
>What is the logic in the saying, "If you think this, you got
>another THING coming"? None at all. "If you think this, you've
>got another THINK coming" is not only "witty," but makes
>sense: "Your thought is wrong and you need to replace it with
>another thought." My immigrant parents, who did not speak
>perfect English, nevertheless always used "think" and always
>understood it as a clever and sensible statement.
>Steve Boatti
>sjb72 at columbia.edu

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