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

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue May 6 20:53:27 UTC 2008

On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 1:38 PM, Benjamin Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> Note also that the earliest citation found so far for the "thing"
>  version, from 1919, also fits the "If you think..." frame:
>  -----
>  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.
>  -----

Jan Freeman found this antedating from a Gaylord Wilshire editorial on
Google Book Search:

1904 _Wilshire's Magazine_ (Feb.) in _Wilshire Editorials_ (1906) 214
Now if we should try and think up some one person who is satisfied
with the existing order of things and upon whose lips is the cry: "Let
well enough alone, Stand pat," we would most likely have thought that
we should find him in the editor of the Wall Street Journal. But if we
did, then we have another thing coming, for this is the cry-baby talk
I find in this morning's (Dec. 16) editorial.

This is available in full-text, so we can see the book's copyright
page shows 1906 and the index shows an original pub. date of Feb. 1904
for this column ("Wall Street Journal Turns Moralist").

Note that the "think" frame is lurking there ("Now if we should try
and think up..."), as with the 1919 cite.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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