Ever heard the expression, “…then you’ve got another thing coming”? Did that sentence make sense to you? If it did, then wins to you! I can’t seem to understand the logic behind it.
I have asked people who use it for an explanation of what it means. They often come up with the analogy that “to have another thing coming” is the same as saying “you’re in for a surprise”.
“Another thing coming” is a VERY common, mostly American, error. The actually phrase, though not a lot of people seem to know this, is “to have another think coming”. To have another think coming is to be mistaking, having misjudged a situation or be deluding one’s self (…or oneself. That’ll have to be another post I think). This is then very different from “thing”.
I would argue that using “another thing coming” in the sense of “to be in for a surprise” wouldn’t be wrong. It’s just a different phrase with a different meaning from “another think coming”. It’s in the same paddock as most other General American vs. British English altercations. However, using “thing” when one is quoting “think” or using “thing” in the sense of “think” is a different story, because that quite definitively is a misuse of the original phrase.
Two examples would be:
If you think that you’re getting away with this you’ve got another think coming!
Your idea of getting away with your actions is wrong and you are mistaken.
If you think that you’re getting away with this you’ve got another thing coming!
If you think you are getting away, you are in for an unpleasant surprise.
At the end of the day, I guess it doesn’t matter which one you use. Most people wouldn’t think twice on what was meant or notice the difference. Oh, and let’s face it regardless of it being think or thing the person using it will probably not be in the mood for an “excuse me, did you say thing or think” clarification.