Aug. 28th, 2011

I ran across a Metafilter thread about the expression "if you think that, you've got another (think/thing) coming." If this is a familiar stock expression to you, which version is familiar, "thing" or "think"? Have you heard the other version?
(Warning: the thread is a mashup of this think/thing with an "is 0.999repeating = 1" debate; skim over unless that's something you enjoy.)

My dad and I agreed that it's a familiar expression, and we'd never heard anyone using the wrong word in it, that would sound bizarre, why is there even a thread about this. But it turned out we disagreed on which word is the right one. The usage in the wild is definitely mixed (it skews "thing" in Google web search, "think" in n-gram books search), and he and I apparently each inferred one correct usage, and assimilated the other one to it, without even noticing the mixedness. Yay language.
you may consider this a spoiler )

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Eli

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