I love this list ... was: "another thing coming"

Katharine The Grate katharinethegrate at COMCAST.NET
Wed May 28 03:01:20 UTC 2008

I absolutely love this list!

Tell me, is there one as fun as this one, only about grammar??

Katharine (whose mother thought she had another think just around the

> How I could tell what I was hearing is: the last sound in "think"
> coincides
> with the first sound in "coming."  So people ran the two together.
> It  was
> the type of sentence one tended to speak emphatically, making it
> even  clearer
> that they were using the same sound.
> If someone said "thing" followed by "coming," I would have heard two
> separate sounds: G then K.
> <<<<<<<
> ROSEMARIE: There is no "G" sound in "thing". The sound we spell "ng"
> is a single sound, a nasal like "m" or "n" but made with the back of
> the tongue pressed against the soft palate. The "hard g" sound is what
> we call a stop: the tongue is in the same place, but the passage
> through the nose is closed off as well, and stops up the air flow
> completely.
> Try saying "thin", drawing out the last sound:
> "thinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn". You can keep it up as long as you have
> breath. Try it now.
> Same for "them". Try that now.
> Same for "thing". Try that.
> Now try it with "egg". You can't prolong it nearly as much. The air
> pressure builds up inside until you can't make any more sound.
> The sound we spell in English as "ng" when it comes at the end of a
> word like "thing" is the same sound that we write with just "n" when
> it comes before a "hard g" sound as in "finger", or when it comes
> before a "k" sound as in "think" or "anchor". "Another thi(ng c)oming"
> has the sounds (between the parentheses)  "ng"  "k". "Another th(ink
> c)oming", spoken slowly, has the sounds "ng"  "k"  "k", but in normal
> speech those two "k" sounds become one.
> (PS: Please remember to change the subject line to the subject of the
> post you're answering, like "another thing coming". A subject like
> "Re: ADS-L Digest - 25 May 2008 to 26 May 2008 (#2008-148)" doesn't
> help those of us who are trying to follow a single thread of
> discussion. Also, could you change your email name from "Your Name"?
> Or should I have written "Dear Your"? ;-) )
> LARRY: The two phrases are not exactly homophonous. In "think coming"
> the first syllable is end-stopped and shorter, with a longer unvoiced
> segment before the aspirated velar release. This is my subjective
> impression, not the result of measurement or survey.
> --
> Mark Mandel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Dress locally; accessorize globally.

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

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