On another thread, McEvoy quotes from a link:
which uses the adjective ‘correct’: “Which is correct: “another think coming”
or “another thing coming”?,” and comments:
McEvoy’s motivation is Ritchie’s
“If you think I sit around all day talking to dogs, you’ve another think
And McEvoy comments:
“Being myself in the "another thing" camp (perhaps because I watch so much
_Columbo_ I always have "another thing" coming), David's chicken talk prompted
further investigation. There appear two lines of thought, neither much for
budging, and with no conclusive means to resolve the dispute. The human world
in a nutshell.”
The two lines of thought remind me of … Grice. In the second William James
lecture he has two ‘camps’ (one holds that ‘and’ means logical conjunction, and
the other that sometimes its sense is best rendered as “and then” – Strawson’s
example: “He got married and had a child.”). Grice’s conclusion is that,
although he might have been seen as having “one foot on each camp,” he
concludes that both parties rely on a ‘common mistake’.
For what is worth, some quotes
· 1901, Wallace Irwin, The Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum, VIII:
My finish then less clearly do I see,
For lo ! I have another think a-coming.
Since this is a love sonnet, it might be argued that to “have another thing
a-coming” is less _romantic_?
· 1918, Jacob Marvin Rudy, Our Nation's Peril, page 132:
...and if you think just because we are at war I'm going to give my brains an
opiate or send them away on a vacation, you got another think a comin'. I
wasn't built that way.
In utterance we have two ‘think’ – and it would seem otiose to have one ‘think’
and one ‘thing’.
· 1950, Conrad Richter, The Fields, page 72:
But if she figured she could break him, she had another think a coming.
While ‘figure’ is NOT ‘think’, it possible _is_ ‘think’ for Descartes. And if
Richter read Descartes, it is likely that Richter would oppose to her having
one ‘think’ (or ‘figure’) and one ‘thing’.
· 1967, Sylvia Wilkinson, A Killing Frost, page 47:
I told them they had another think a-coming if they thought they could talk me
down like they did Papa, and they could just pack themselves right off my...
Ditto here. Wilkinson has they ‘thinking’ this, and her telling them that they
had another ‘think’. No mention of ‘thing’ seems invited.
· 1984, James Purdy, On Glory's Course, page 252:
He had another think a-coming, that begrimed whoremonger!
This is more of a ‘free’ use – but since it’s on glory’s course, and the
archaic ‘a-coming’, it is perhaps ‘think’ that is meant.
In any case, back to McEvoy:
“Being myself [unlike Ritchie] in the "another thing" camp (perhaps because I
watch so much _Columbo_ I always have "another thing" coming), ‘Ritchie]’s
chicken talk prompted further investigation. There appear two lines of thought,
neither much for budging, and with no conclusive means to resolve the dispute.
The human world in a nutshell.”
If Grice is right about the ‘common mistake’ BOTH camps indulge in, perhaps it
is all about how the question is formulated. Perhaps the way the question is
formulated would provide _conclusive_ means. Grice would perhaps rely on
Witters here. If an utterer has in his idiosyncratic procedure to utter “think”
meaning ‘think,’ that’s correct. If an utterer has in his idiosyncratic
procedure to utter ‘thing’ meaning ‘thing’, that’s correct. Presto! No dispute!
Of course one has to buy Grice’s idea that lingo is composed of idiosyncratic
procedures – but that’s easily sellable at Oxford, the land of Humpty Dumpty!