Words With C-Suite: Malapropisms

WRONG: You’ve got another thing coming

Yes, this phrase is commonly used, and it makes perfect sense.  Things come.  The egg corn ("another thing coming"), while grammatically correct, is idiosyncratically incorrect.  The original form of the phrase is, in its long form is, “if that’s what you think, you’ve got another think coming.”  This phrase’s origins are unclear but definitively predate the egg corn. It implies the person thinking will be forced to change their thought.  This excerpt from The Daily Argus (1897) uses the expression in its original form:

“Having elected him, republicans think they have some voice in the distribution of the spoils and there is where they have another think coming to them.”

WRONG: Right off the back

Right off the bat refers to the very beginning, as in a baseball game; the first event is a player at bat which kicks off the rest of the game. I’m sure one could justify the use of right off the back (perhaps, as opposed to being off the front?) But for all intents and purposes, let’s stick with the correct idiom, okay?

WRONG: One in the same

The correct saying is one and the same.  Think about it; Q-Tips and cotton swabs are one and the same—they are both pieces of cotton on either end of a cardboard stick. They are one item that is the same thing.  The phrase one in the same would, loosely, imply that Q-Tips and cotton swabs are each one small piece of a larger whole.

 

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