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

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 28 17:49:27 UTC 2008

This list be about grammar, too. If you have you grammar question what
you want to discuss, simply post it.


On Tue, May 27, 2008 at 11:01 PM, Katharine The Grate
<katharinethegrate at comcast.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Katharine The Grate <katharinethegrate at COMCAST.NET>
> Subject:      I love this list ... was:  "another thing coming"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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
> corner)
>> 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

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
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 -Sam'l Clemens

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