Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat May 3 18:30:02 UTC 2008

in Jeremiah Wright's speech:

ML, 5/3/08: Another thing coming about another think coming:

short version: as i expected, you really can't tell from the phonetics
which version wright intended to say.

some further comments on the discussion here, which has once again
dissolved into defenses of one variant and disparagements of the
other.  both sides exhibit grammatical egocentrism: if you're a
"think" speaker, you suppose "thing" is an error of some sort (a slip
of the tongue, or more likely an eggcorn); if you're a "thing"
speaker, you suppose "think" is a hypercorrection. the fact is that
there are two variants, both of which should now be treated as

and appeals to history are invalid. the fact that the "think" variant
is the older one doesn't tell us *anything* about the status of the
variants now. appealing to history is a kind of "originalism", related
to the etymological fallacy.


The American Dialect Society -

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