So one of my literary bugbears, of which I’m sure there are several, but this one sticks in my mind as the absolute worst, is the expression ‘If you think [insert thought here] you’ve got another thing coming’. This literally makes NO sense, it should be think. Because if you think something, but somebody else thinks that thought is wrong or a mistake, then surely it would make sense for you to have another think. I don’t understand where the ‘thing’ comes into it.
I’ve seen this expression quoted in so many books, and at first I thought it was a US thing, but then I’ve also seen it in books written by British authors! So I thought maybe I’m wrong, after all these seasoned writers are using this expression in the same way. So I did my Googles and to my utter delight I found out that the Guardian Style Guide, according to this article agrees with me, firmly stating:
If you think the expression is “you’ve got another thing coming”, then you have misheard the expression “you’ve got another think coming”.
But apparently, this is not without out controversy as some people defiantly insist that it is ‘another thing coming’. Seriously! How can this be? You think something. Your thoughts are wrong (according to someone else). So you should have another think. Simples!
It is thought that the expression originally was ‘another think coming’, ironically arising in the US, but somehow over the ages due to misapprenhension ‘another thing coming’ came into existence and eventually was more commonly used and accepted, hence why some people will defend its use come what may. So effectively neither phrase is wrong, which seems crazy to me, but there we are.
Personally I’m sticking to ‘another think coming’ as not only is it logical, it makes literal sense. And anyone who thinks otherwise, has another think coming!