My llama grandmama is 97 years old. She’s of the Polish stock and a total riot. She loves to eat gizzards and potatoes, and she adores dirty romance novels, chips, watching the news really loud, and gossip. She also enjoys to use the word “thing” randomly between sentences. What I’m about to teach you may be the most important grammar rule that you’ll never find in any usage guides under the shining sun.
Be careful when using the word “thing”.
Grandma likes to reiterate the news and other random tidbits she’s heard in the following manner:
If a man’s house caught on fire, she’ll say, “His thing caught on fire.”
If a man lost something of value, she’ll say, “Did you hear about the man who lost his thing?”
If a man ran over his garbage can, she’ll say, “That man was backing down his driveway and ran over his thing!”
This has caused a lot of snickers in my family, and no one ever attempts to correct her — and could she even be changed at the age of 97?
So, kids, be careful how you use the word “thing”. According to the Oxford Dictionary, there are four definitions that explain the denotation of “thing”.
1 an object that one need not , cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to
2 an inanimate material object as distinct from a living sentient being
3 an action, activity, event, thought, or utterance
4 (the thing) informal what is needed or required
In conclusion, the llama believes that it’s safe to use “thing” when you are speaking hastily and cannot unearth a semi-intelligent description to describe whatever it is that you’re blabbering about. There really isn’t much of a rule here; however, if you choose to use “thing” within the confines of your limited vocabulary, be careful not to make it sound like you are talking about a ding dong. I guess that is the rule. Allow me to repeat it.
If you choose to use the word “thing”, be careful not to make it sound like you are talking about a ding dong.
If you don’t know what a ding dong is, ask Buck Bumbly or your mom. And if you continue walking around asking, “Has anyone seen my thing?”, may the great Lord help you.