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On the "thing" or "think" thread, somebody suggested
consulting a dictionary to prove that think can be a noun.
Well, the dictionary can also be used to back up
"thing." M-Webster's Ninth New Collegiate states
the following as definition 7b for "thing":
7b: IDEA, NOTION <says the first ~ he thinks of>
Unfortunately for my side (the thing folks), my same
dictionary states the noun use of think as dating way
back, and note the example it gives:
think n (1834): an act of thinking <has another ~ coming>
Hmmm, seems like M-W's NInth could be used to argue
for either side, but the case is stronger for *think*.
For those of you who are thinking, "What has this got
to do with technical communication?", I submit that
we are constantly striving for accuracy in the words
we use and are also concerned with communicating with
folks we've never met. I believe this discussion has
challenged some of us to realize that we can take
very little for granted.
For those who are intrigued with my "regional variation"
arguement, but who wish to take the discussion off list,
I'm submitting a short survey in another posting.