My kids have been teasing me lately, about my use of the word “thing” when referring to people, places, or…ummm…things in a conversation. When I’m in a hurry and can’t get the name of the person, place or thing out of my neuronal files fast enough, I just use thing.
Here are some examples:
*Note: all names have been changed…to thing.*
“I was about to walk out the door this morning, when thing called. You need to call him back.”
“I was in the grocery store and ran into thing and her family.”
“Ooooh! Thing is on tonight!”
“Quick! Hand me the thing!”
“Do you know if thing is going to be there tonight?”
“AAAAHHH!! A SPIDER!!! QUICK!! KILL IT!! JUST USE THE THING!! HURRY UP!!”
My Southern Man informed me that this could be a hereditary condition. He says that my dad always did the same thing and, of the four of us offspring, my older brother and I do it quite often, too. Oh, well. Most of the time, it seems to be a suitable substitute and everyone knows to whom or what I am referring. Most of the time. Occasionally, especially when referring to a whom, they don’t always know to whom I am referring. So the conversation goes kind of like this:
“Is thing going to be there tonight?”
“You know, thing! Ummm…oh, geeeeeez, whats-iz-name! You kno-ow!”
Eventually, the name finds its way out of the recesses of my brain and the person is identified by their actual name, rather than a non-existent pronoun.
Now, if I am referring to a what, the conversation usually goes a little easier due to the advantage of playing charades.
“Why is the t.v. so loud? Where’s the thing?”
“You know, the whatchamacallit!”
“The thingamajig!” as I make pressing motions with my thumb on my curled-up fingers.
So you see, thing is a very versatile word and when need-be, can be interchanged with other words that are just as versatile and nebulous.
Finally, for your trivial pleasure, when you type the word “thing” into the search engine, you get “Thing”:
From Wikipedia, a
highly somewhat accurate resource:
“The Thing (Benjamin Jacob “Ben” Grimm) is a fictional character, a superhero, and a founding member of the Fantastic Four in the Marvel Universe. He was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and made his first appearance in The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961). His trademark orange rocky appearance, sense of humor, blue eyes, and his famous battle cry, “It’s clobberin’ time!” makes him one of the most recognizable and popular comic book characters. The Thing’s speech patterns are loosely based on those of Jimmy Durante.”
“Thing” is definitely not nebulous. You know, I think I took a photo of him last summer. Hold on, let me check my photos really quick…
…yes, here we go:
Now, that’s something, isn’t it! Can you say “drought”?