"thing/think" [was: on the eggcorn beat]

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu May 1 14:14:23 UTC 2008

On May 1, 2008, at 7:01 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:

> On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 9:14 AM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard
> <gcohen at mst.edu> wrote:
>> How can " think" in "have another think coming" be original when
>> "think"
>> isn't a noun? I.e., if you don't have a single think, how can you
>> have
>> another think?
> OED has the noun "think" in the sense "an act of (continued)
> thinking; a
> meditation" from 1834 and in the sense "what one thinks about
> something; an
> opinion" from 1835. Beyond "have another think coming", it survives
> in other
> contexts, such as "have a (good/serious/proper) think about X". It's
> not
> present in my dialect either, but it evidently remains common in the
> UK and
> Australia.

and even if these uses hadn't been around, any verb is available for
nonce nouning -- *especially* in playful inventions, which i've always
taken this one to be.


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