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Author Topic: Typing != writing
Dog Friendly
Carol of the Bills


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Cactus Wren, Mercedes Lackey is the author to whom I was referring in the post above about "rancheros the size of counties", and the street and freeways that don't connect. She's a pretty good storyteller, but a dreadfully careless writer, IMO. Either that, or she has a really lousy copy editor.

Anne McCaffrey is another one who occasionally mistakes "flout" for "flaunt", as well as "aught" for "ought".

Dog Friendly

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Spikey
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quote:
Originally posted by ULTRAGUPPY:
I then started on a biography called Mockingbird: a Portrait of Harper Lee which contains the phrase along the lines of If someone thought that something would happen, "she had another thing coming".

The author of that book is a former English teacher that used to teach To Kill a Mockingbird and has written other biographies for young adults. This is, I think, his first biography for adults.

I haven't given up on the book just for that one mistake; but it sure GLARED out at me.

Forgive my ignorance, but what's wrong with this phrase?

~ "no such thing as a stupid question" Spikey

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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The phrase should be "another think coming."

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Mistletoey Chloe:
The phrase should be "another think coming."

Really? But think is a verb?

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Darth Credence
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quote:
Originally posted by Mistletoey Chloe:
The phrase should be "another think coming."

This is one that really annoys me, and I just don't use the phrase because of it. While "another think coming" is the correct, original usage, I don't believe it makes sense. Not that "another thing coming" is any better (although Judas Priest seems to think so.)
I guess it's that I never use think as a noun (except, of course, in this sentence) and it seems wrong to me.

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Mistletoey Chloe
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Colloquially, as here: http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=think
"S: (n) think (an instance of deliberate thinking) I need to give it a good think."

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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Yes, that use had occured to me just after I posted, it still sounds so wrong in this situation though. I'm still slightly surprised though. Unless I've always been hearing it wrong I'm sure 'Another thing' is the more common phrase, even if it wasn't necessarily the original. Indeed, as it makes argueably more sense, can it strictly be seen as incorrect? (Perhaps this is just comming from someone who has found out they've been hearing the phrase wrong their whole life.)

ETA: A quick google poll reassures me that it is probably not a case of my bad hearing but of the 'wrong' form being more common. A bit on a page here indicates that while 'think' is probably older (Having arrisen out of 'guess') 'thing' is still fairly well established and indeed is even favoured by 60% of the editors at Merriam-Webster (Not that that says anything about 'correctness'). http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxyouhav.html

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Dog Friendly
Carol of the Bills


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I originally heard the phrase used as the second half of another remark, as: "If he thinks I'm going to keep quiet about that, he's got another think coming", or "If they think I'll pay full price for that, they've got another think coming". In other words, there's a proper use of the word "think" in the first half of the remark, followed by "...got another think coming".

Dog Friendly

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by James G.:
Indeed, as it makes argueably more sense, can it strictly be seen as incorrect?

I don't think it does make more sense. "If you think that I'm going to clean up after your mess, you've got another think coming" does make sense, wheras "another thing coming" wouldn't.

I can see how it'd be easy to say/hear the phrase wrong, though, as the "g" in "thing" is silent, and the "k" of "think" gets swallowed into the "c" of "coming". Unless you're being really careful with your enunciating, Nikki-style, the two phrases sound almost exactly the same.

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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But the full phrase is usually along the lines of "If you think you can just sit there without me clobbering you over the head then you've got another thin(g/k) comming?"

Thing thereby refering to the situation refered to in the warning. (ie. Being clobbered over the head)

ETA: You have to understand of course that I've always heard it this way. So these are the interpretations I've applied. It certainly never struck me as making no sense.

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ThistleSoftware
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Neither makes enough sense to be preferrable, in my opinion. "If you think x, you've got another think coming" might make logical sense but it's so clunky and dumb sounding. I've got a think coming? Just one? Coming from where?

Whereas "If you think x, you've got another thing coming," makes little enough sense that I've been able to dismiss it as an archaic almost-idiom where I know what it means even though the words do not work together. Kind of like "hoist on his own petard."

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by ThistleSoftware:
Neither makes enough sense to be preferrable, in my opinion. ...I've been able to dismiss it as an archaic almost-idiom where I know what it means even though the words do not work together. Kind of like "hoist on his own petard."

Just to drag the topic back in the direction snopes originally intended, if neither makes sense to you, ThistleS, don't use them.

The point is that if g-you are not sure of the reason for, wording or meaning of a phrase, all g-you prove by using it is that g-you're ignorant.

Seaboe

ET correct sentence construction

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Unusual Elfin Lights
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I originally got my thoughts from this from the Judas Priest song: "You've got another thing comin'"

Now, it's stuck in my head.

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WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Dog Friendly:
The Kennel Manager at my animal shelter uses the phrase "Nip that in the butt" in place of "...in the bud".

I will admit, I used to think the phrase "A whole boatload of [whatever]" was "A whole buttload of [whatever]." Likewise, I once thought "a shedload" of something was "a shitload." I think I actually figured at least one of them out when I saw it written on this board.

Those two sound espesially NFBSK when they're right next to each other, don't they? [Embarrassed]

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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*Think* implies they need to rethink their opinion. *Thing* implies there will be repercussions or an unexpected result.

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Michelle

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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But James, how does it work if it's "If you think the Tories are going to win the next election, then you've got another thing coming"? What thing would that be?

ThistleS, "hoist by his own petard" does make sense. This site explains it.

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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quote:
Originally posted by ChelleGame:
*Think* implies they need to rethink their opinion. *Thing* implies there will be repercussions or an unexpected result.

I used to think that the "nother thing coming" was my mom's hand on my behind.

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm:
quote:
Originally posted by ChelleGame:
*Think* implies they need to rethink their opinion. *Thing* implies there will be repercussions or an unexpected result.

I used to think that the "nother thing coming" was my mom's hand on my behind.
That would be the repercussion, although it seems like it was expected. [Smile]

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Michelle

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Esprise Me
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quote:
Originally posted by WildaBeast:
I will admit, I used to think the phrase "A whole boatload of [whatever]" was "A whole buttload of [whatever]." Likewise, I once thought "a shedload" of something was "a shitload."

"Buttload" and "shitload" are neologisms that grew out of their older, less profane counterparts, but chances are, you weren't hearing wrong; you were hearing what was actually being said, and meant. A buttload of today's slang involves trying to dump as much profanity into the language as possible. Other examples include "the asscrack of dawn," "bitchslap," and "f*ckwad." In all five cases, the new version means the same thing as the old, but with an added tone of frustration, aggression, or disrespect. Getting up at the asscrack of dawn to bitchslap the f*ckwad who owes you money means getting up at the crack of dawn and not being happy about it to slap with intense disdain someone you find worthless. Likewise, "buttload" and "shitload" signify an enormous amount of something either really good or really bad; i.e. "Joe has a shitload of weed at his place, but I have to stay home because I have a buttload of homework to do."

The line between neologisms that grew out of older expressions, and mistaken interpretations of those expressions, can be fuzzy. Language is evolving, and it would be silly to refuse to accept as legitimate all new expressions or usages on the grounds that they are new. On the other hand, language depends on a standardized set of rules in order to be effective as a tool for communication, and it would be equally foolhardy to throw up our hands and declare every expression to mean whatever the speaker wanted it to mean. So where do we draw the line?

The way I see it, a word or phrase must pass through three phases, unless it drops out of the race early. The first phase is popular usage; people say it in conversation, write it in casual notes, and spread it through various other channels of communication, but keep it out of formal writing. The next phase is making it into the descriptive dictionaries, with a notation of "slang" or "nonstandard." The final phase is making it into the stylebooks, where it is declared appropriate for formal writing.

Earlier I mentioned the appalling punctuation in Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. Now, call me crazy, but I think that a book that presents itself as a style guide--or even a rant about improper grammar--should probably stick to the most exclusive rules of usage. Saying "that's just her style; she's being conversational!" doesn't cut it with me. Which is why I object to this argument:
quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
To say that it's "rife with grammatical errors, including, incomprehensibly enough, dozens of punctuation errors" because it doesn't match the New Yorker's style guide is silly.
[/QB]

If we disregard the style guides, on what standard do we judge proper punctuation? Why is it OK to omit the comma that should precede a nonrestrictive clause, but not OK to pluralize words with an apostrophe-"s"? The problem is not that Lynn Truss is shaky on punctuation. The problem is that she wrote a whole book blasting those who punctuate poorly, and failed to have her own punctuation properly edited. It is this hypocrisy to which Menand so rightly objects. If Ms. Truss were to post on these boards about how much she loved kittens, and omit that comma, I would not point out her mistake for everyone to mock, nor would I commend or even sit silently by while someone else did so. I doubt snopes would upbraid a poster for writing "mute point," either, although we might tease that person gently. This was a professional context, however, which calls for a professional standard of writing.

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:


ThistleS, "hoist by his own petard" does make sense. This site explains it.

I shouldn't have used that as an example. I know what it means now, but for years I only knew what it meant contextually and didn't know the origin.

As for using neither "another think" or "another thing," I will probably continue to use "another thing coming" when I want a phrase that conveys that meaning even though I don't think it makes terribly much literal sense. I don't think that's in quite the same realm as thinking the phrase is "for all intensive purposes."

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ParaDiddle
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There's at least one phrase I personally have given up on. It's the use of the term "laundry list" as a way to describe a list of various/diverse items.

First of all, what's on a laundry list and second, what purpose does it serve while doing the wash?

The term is used the wrong way so often, that I doubt if the current use is even worthy of correction.

- Para "Never On A Sundry" Diddle

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I think a laundry list is important when someone else does your laundry, like a laundry service. You have your list to make sure that you get back what you gave them. My grandparents ran a laundry for many years and they did give people tickets, but people still had their lists on pickup day to make sure they got back what they brought in.

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ParaDiddle
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I think a laundry list is important when someone else does your laundry, like a laundry service. You have your list to make sure that you get back what you gave them. My grandparents ran a laundry for many years and they did give people tickets, but people still had their lists on pickup day to make sure they got back what they brought in.

Using a a laundry service and needing a list to keep an accurate inventory is more exception than rule. A "laundry list" lists laundry items and is niether varied nor diverse. Having a necessity to leave home list in hand, then return with sundry items (groceries, hardware, livestock feed, laundry items) is more true to life and is the actual origin of the phrase. Where can I find an example of how hard a point that is to win? Hmmm. . .

- P

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I always thought that the phrase "laundry list" implied that it was long, not varied.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Erm, as the actress said to the Bishop.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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ParaDiddle
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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
I always thought that the phrase "laundry list" implied that it was long, not varied.

Then as the OP suggests, it may not be a good idea for you to use this paticular phrase, whether it be in oral, written or typed media.

And the examples keep-a-comin'

- P

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Barbara
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Only because some folks might not yet have seen my mangled English page.
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DadOf3
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quote:
Originally posted by ParaDiddle:
quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
I always thought that the phrase "laundry list" implied that it was long, not varied.

Then as the OP suggests, it may not be a good idea for you to use this paticular phrase, whether it be in oral, written or typed media.

And the examples keep-a-comin'

- P

According to this site:
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/50/messages/453.html
Trollface is absolutely right. Perhaps he's not the one who should avoid using the phrase?

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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Sorry for the late reply, I ended up heading hope and then couldn't join in the discussion later as I was out procuring a Wii.

Well Trollface with your example I had always assumes the reprecussion was naturally a Lib Dem governemt, or rather the surprise of being wrong. (As I appear to be now)

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ParaDiddle
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quote:
Originally posted by DadOf3:
According to this site:
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/50/messages/453.html
Trollface is absolutely right. Perhaps he's not the one who should avoid using the phrase? [/QB]

As my original post in the thread implies, that's already taken care of. ;P

- P

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snopes
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quote:
Several years ago, my local paper introduced a new, full-color, glossy TV section. The first issue highlighted a local man who was starring in a new educational show about wildlife. The article went on to say that the first episode of his new show would feature lepers.
When I was a kid, I was always puzzled by the scene from Ben Hur in which Judah returns to find his imprisoned mother and sister, and the jailer looks into their cell, exclaims "Leopards!" and recoils in horror. I could never figure out how leopards got into their jail cell, or why the big cats didn't kill and eat the prisoners.

- snopes

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
When I was a kid, I was always puzzled by the scene from Ben Hur in which Judah returns to find his imprisoned mother and sister, and the jailer looks into their cell, exclaims "Leopards!" and recoils in horror. I could never figure out how leopards got into their jail cell, or why the big cats didn't kill and eat the prisoners.

[bad joke] Because the cats were busy with the appetizers* and hadn't reached the main course yet. [/bad joke]

Seaboe

*the pieces that, legend tells us, fall off of lepers.

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BeowulfGirl
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My favorite is by Roald Dahl, who is usually brilliant. This is from his short story "The Old Man From The South":

"I couldn't tell if his accent was Spanish or Italian. But one thing was for sure...he was some kind of South American!"

I just laugh my lungs out when I read that one.

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by BeowulfGirl:
My favorite is by Roald Dahl, who is usually brilliant. This is from his short story "The Old Man From The South":

"I couldn't tell if his accent was Spanish or Italian. But one thing was for sure...he was some kind of South American!"

I just laugh my lungs out when I read that one.

That's not what it says. Dahl's not the kind of person who has trouble with geography or difficulty placing languages. The sentence is "I couldn’t tell if the accent were Italian or Spanish, but I felt fairly sure he was some sort of a South American." 1) It's a story. You don't expect him to add a disclaimer (a la Vonnegut?) just to tell people, "By the way, this is a story and I'm quite aware that..." 2) The second part of the sentence doesn't necessarily refer to the first 3) There are Italian speaking and Spanish speaking South Americans.
Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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