"another thing coming"

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 27 17:18:12 UTC 2008

On Tue, May 27, 2008 at 12:39 PM,  <ROSESKES at aol.com> wrote:
> I did what you said, and understand what you meant.  However, when I say
> "think coming" and "thing coming", they always sound different to me.  I can
> imagine perhaps once hearing "thing coming" and thinking I'm hearing "think
> coming," but not repeatedly thru'out my entire life.  It's a common
> expression around here, and was even more so while I was growing up.  I'm
> positive that what people around me have always said is, "You've got another
> think coming."  Things may have been different in 1919; or (which I think is
> more likely) the newspaper may have gotten it wrong.

I agree, they are distinguishable. I slipped up and didn't say for you
in layman's language what I said to Larry in technical terms. In
"think coming" the first syllable is shorter, and there's a longer
period of silence or near-silence before the beginning of the vowel in
"com-". But the distinction is fairly subtle and may get lost in
hurried speech or noisy environments or other less-than-ideal
conditions, with the result that the grammatically unusual "another
think coming" is heard as the grammatically ordinary "another thing
coming". That is presumably how the "thing coming" version got
started: with the speaker meaning and saying "think coming", and the
hearer hearing it as "thing coming".

m a m

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

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