You have another think coming

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Nathan Bransford
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You have another think coming

Post by Nathan Bransford » May 17th, 2010, 8:22 pm

I was recently informed by my editor that the proper phrase is not actually the commonly used, "You have another thing coming," but rather, "You have another think coming."

Did everyone else already know this? I had no idea!!

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Holly
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by Holly » May 17th, 2010, 8:26 pm

Just tell him/her, "If you think I'm going to change it, you have another thing coming."

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wilderness
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by wilderness » May 17th, 2010, 8:26 pm

I've seen it used both ways. It's good to finally get a verdict on the correct one!

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by Nathan Bransford » May 17th, 2010, 8:30 pm

Holly wrote:Just tell him/her, "If you think I'm going to change it, you have another thing coming."
Ha - what's funny is that I just scrapped the whole phrase. I was imagining getting e-mails telling me it was wrong whether it was "thing" or "think."

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Holly
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by Holly » May 17th, 2010, 8:34 pm

Nathan Bransford wrote:
Holly wrote:Just tell him/her, "If you think I'm going to change it, you have another thing coming."
Ha - what's funny is that I just scrapped the whole phrase. I was imagining getting e-mails telling me it was wrong whether it was "thing" or "think."
Here is an interesting discussion about the phrase. It just shows that our language is alive and changes in the strangest ways.

http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxyouhav.html

"If you think that, you have another think coming" means "You are
mistaken and will soon have to alter your opinion". This is now
sometimes heard with "thing" in place of "think", but "think" is the
older version. Eric Partridge, in A Dictionary of Catch Phrases,
gives the phrase as "you have another guess coming", "US: since the
1920s, if not a decade or two earlier". Clearly "think" is closer
to "guess" than "thing" is. The OED gives a citation with "think"
from 1937, and no evidence for "thing". Merriam-Webster Editorial
Department writes: "When an informal poll was conducted here at
Merriam-Webster, about 60% of our editors favored 'thing' over
'think,' a result that runs counter to our written evidence."

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polymath
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by polymath » May 17th, 2010, 8:42 pm

I run into plenty of these--whatchamacallits? Affectations, colloquialisms, spoonerisms, bowdlerizations?

Here's a few.
Irregardless.
For all intensive purposes.
Where did you let off in your progress through the novel?
He was left off on the corner.
Peaked my interest.
It's all one in the same.

Whatever they are, they're great for depicting an assortment of character traits and personalities in dialogue discourse, not so great in narrative discourse.
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Nathan Bransford
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by Nathan Bransford » May 17th, 2010, 8:58 pm

polymath wrote:I run into plenty of these--whatchamacallits? Affectations, colloquialisms, spoonerisms, bowdlerizations?

Here's a few.
Irregardless.
For all intensive purposes.
Where did you let off in your progress through the novel?
He was left off on the corner.
Peaked my interest.
It's all one in the same.

Whatever they are, they're great for depicting an assortment of character traits and personalities in dialogue discourse, not so great in narrative discourse.
Eggcorn!
In linguistics, an eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect. The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original, but plausible in the same context ("old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease"). This is as opposed to a malapropism, where the substitution creates a nonsensical phrase.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggcorn

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polymath
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by polymath » May 17th, 2010, 9:41 pm

Eggcorn. Duh-huh, of course. A corn, archaic, is an Old World cereal grain seed, plural: corn. Maize is a New World cereal grain known today as corn. A corn substituted for acorn, a nut seed of oak trees; therefore, eggcorn. I get it.
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Quill
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by Quill » May 17th, 2010, 10:00 pm

polymath wrote: Irregardless.
For all intensive purposes.
Where did you let off in your progress through the novel?
He was left off on the corner.
Peaked my interest.
It's all one in the same.
Whoa. Someone needs to be reigned in.

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Re: You have another think coming

Post by GeeGee55 » May 17th, 2010, 11:20 pm

My mom used that expression all the time when I was a kid. If you think that, you've got another think coming. It was usually regarding some wacky idea my siblings (never me) had, and looking back on it, it was really quite generous of her to give them (never me) another think.

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polymath
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by polymath » May 17th, 2010, 11:35 pm

Quill,

I note questionable nonstandard expressions, mark them for checking. I don't allow myself to correct them. Correcting someone's grammar, even when it's called for or requested, is impolite. I once thought it was a kindness if not exactly nice to correct grammar. I learned the hard way to rethink that view.

First, it's a tedious editing process to mark a grammar-challenged writer's work. Better to let a project go than get involved in a mutually frustrating experience. Second, line edits for a work in progress can be pointless, if a writer is going to make major changes and catch them on his or her own anyway. Third, correcting too often too easily leads to unpleasantness.

The First Principle for conscientious copyeditors is, Do no harm. That's not as easy to follow as might be desired. Not noting a questionable nondiscretionary mechanical concern can be harmful. Noting it can be harmful. Paradox feedback redux. My clients don't want any tapdancing around the point, though, no more than they like to be imperatively told what's correct. What's correct is subjective in many situations, often enough in even what appear to be nondiscretionary situations.

A writer spelled a fairly well-known word in a nonstandard way. It occurs dozens of times in his book. My overseers insisted it be changed to the dictionary spelling for a new edition. I knew the word was spelled appropriately for the context. The nonstandard spelling is a local standard I knew of from visiting the region, besides, I'd read the book many times and a few times where it's set. I didn't put my foot down. I asked, what if that's how it's spelled by the people of the book's setting?

I located the same debate in the deceased author's papers, in his fifty-year-old correspondence with the original editor. They exchanged a few rounds before the editor let it stand based on it was the local standard spelling for the setting of the book. A letter from about the same week, the author said to a close aquaintance, he wasn't sure he'd be able to work with the editor/publisher any longer. He did. The book was published two years later and won awards. It sold out its first printing and was reprinted as written four more times over ten years.

Another letter in the author's papers, one persnickety grammarian wrote the author imperatively correcting his spelling of the word. She missed more than a few significant nondiscretionary spellings that were caught and revised for the new edition. The nonstandard spelling of the contentious word stood up in the new edition, and is favorably remarked upon in the publisher's foreword notes about the new edition revisions.

In the case of "You have another thing coming," I'd have remarked, Nice wordplay. I hear people from rustic areas say something similar all the time. Do you know if "thing" is the standard expression or "think"? It's not my place to correct, only to call attention politely, if necessary.
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by heather_hangs_it » May 17th, 2010, 11:57 pm

I never knew what these were called till one day I found out!
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/

It's interesting to read about these. Have fun!

Oh, and for the record, as feisty as I am, I might have just scrapped the phrase, too. At least I hope would have.

~heather

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Quill
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by Quill » May 18th, 2010, 12:22 am

polymath, thank you for the further elucidations! I was, of course, just making a small joke by offering another erroneous word usage in reply. I know it is not always wise to correct people. And that the language does change to accommodate new common meanings.

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polymath
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by polymath » May 18th, 2010, 12:58 am

Cool, Quill.

I noticed the unseemliness of "reigned," wondered if it was accidentally a situational irony, an unintended eggcorn, or intentional, decided, okay, what do I know was meant? Any which a way I could have gone awry by remarking on it, except the several artful outcomes that gave me a chuckle.
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Scott
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Re: You have another think coming

Post by Scott » May 18th, 2010, 12:47 pm

Judas Priest will not be impressed.

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