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What's all this talk of "Box Sets"?

(35 Posts)
80sMum Sun 03-May-15 23:40:06

A "box set" is a set of boxes.

A set of DVDs in a box is a "boxed set."

There is a clear and obvious difference between the two, so why so many people get it wrong?!

letitlinger Sun 03-May-15 23:46:06

Box set is such a part of common parlance now I doubt if anyone is going to start saying boxed set instead!

80sMum Sun 03-May-15 23:50:25

But they certainly used to be referred to as boxed sets! When did "boxed" change to "box"? I must have not noticed!

WhenMarnieWasThere Sun 03-May-15 23:52:54

Probably about the time that 'packed lunch' started being referred to as 'pack lunch'

80sMum Sun 03-May-15 23:57:24

They are not always referred to as box sets. Here are some good old-fashioned references to boxed sets!
The Good Life
The Victorian Kitchen Garden
Foyle's War

SurlyCue Sun 03-May-15 23:59:01

Because there is very little distinguishable difference between boxed set and box set when spoken. Its not difficult to see why some people would think a person was saying "box set" and so use that phrase themselves.

80sMum Sun 03-May-15 23:59:25

Pack lunch? I haven't heard that before! Packed is only one syllable; why would anyone feel the need to shorten it?!

momb Sun 03-May-15 23:59:50

There was a thread asking about box sets today and I misread it and wondered what a sex bot was <disappointed on opening the thread>.

80sMum Mon 04-May-15 00:03:04

Surly that's a good point and probably does account for the error.

There are many other misinterpretations that have become so common that the erroneous version is now the norm. The one that really gets on my nerves is when people say "another thing coming" instead of "another think coming." Even David Cameron got that one wrong!

Pipbin Mon 04-May-15 00:06:49

I only recently realised it was 'another think' rather than 'another thing'.
I think 'boxed' is going the way of 'texted'.

SurlyCue Mon 04-May-15 00:11:31

Yes i have noticed "i couldn't be asked" rather than "i couldn't be arsed" although i think that is only really an issue with certain accents that don't pronounce the 'r' in some words. (But add them in to others! confused)

80sMum Mon 04-May-15 00:43:45

Perhaps these errors happen because we are now such a diverse community and so many people have English as a second language?

It is harder for non-native speakers to discern subtle differences in pronunciation - and if someone doesn't read widely (which they may well not if English is not their first language) then they don't ever see the words and phrases written down in their correct form, so continue to compound the error by repetition.

DadDadDad Mon 04-May-15 15:23:27

I found this after a quick Google, and the following link suggests that "another thing coming" has a long pedigree, so don't be too hard on people like me who thought it was the correct form for most of my life, despite being generally educated and pedantic about these kind of errors.

DadDadDad Mon 04-May-15 15:28:29

And I don't really see the problem with "box set". OK - "boxed set" may be more descriptive in some strict logical sense, but there is no ambiguity in the expression "box set" and it's easier to say and write, so why worry about it?

80sMum Mon 04-May-15 18:59:24

Dad this is Pedants' Corner. I was being pedantic!

The facts remain that "another thing coming" is incorrect; "another think coming" is correct; a "box set" is a set of boxes and a "boxed set" is a set of something, packed into a box!

DadDadDad Mon 04-May-15 19:59:45

OK - I'll be the pedant: prove to me that "another thing coming" is incorrect.

Pipbin Mon 04-May-15 20:13:50

I agree that it should be boxed set, but I was just watching somethings on Sky's catch up service and that had a section title of Box Sets.

YonicScrewdriver Mon 04-May-15 20:17:44

It's a set in a box. Why shouldn't that be a box set?

YonicScrewdriver Mon 04-May-15 20:19:14

Like a shoe for dancing might be described as a dancing shoe or as a dance shoe.

BadgersArse Mon 04-May-15 20:22:22

its like pack lunch

and ' I text him'


YonicScrewdriver Mon 04-May-15 22:19:08

Would setbox be OK? In the same way that lunchbox is ok?

MirandaGoshawk Tue 05-May-15 17:45:28

I agree that box set should be boxed set. For me it's the same as e.g three-bedroom house. Estate agents never say three-bedroomed, as they used to. It's just lazy. Stupid spellcheck has said 'three-bedroomed' is wrong.

FurryDogMother Tue 05-May-15 17:49:00

'Another think coming' is only part of the phrase, it's actually 'if he/she thinks that, they've got another think coming'. 'Another thing coming' doesn't make sense.

80sMum Tue 05-May-15 21:56:25

Dad What FurryDog says is correct.

One can't have "another thing" without having first had a thing.

The phrase means "think again"! For example, something my father often used to say to me is "if you think I'm going to let you go out dressed like that, you've got another think coming!"

It simply wouldn't make sense to say "if you think something, you have another thing coming. What was the first thing? As I said, one can't have another of something if one hasn't yet had the first one!

The use of "another thing coming" has only come about because people have misheard the word "think" as "thing".

It can happen quite easily. I confess that I was well into my 20s before I realised that the phrase "he did it off his own bat" was indeed bat and not back, as I had been saying for decades! My parents had said back , which is wrong, and I assumed that's what it was supposed to be, until I was reading a book where a character used "bat" - and I realised of course that I (and my parents) had been saying it wrong all along.

There's no shame at all in getting it wrong (thing sounds very similar to think and it's an easy mistake to make) but I do think that one should have the good grace to accept that one is in error, when that is clearly the case.

DadDadDad Tue 05-May-15 22:07:58

Er, thanks for the long explanation, but in my first post to this thread I implied that I realised "thing" was not correct. I also posted a link where someone very even-handedly summarised a lot of evidence that "thing" and "think" both had their support and had been around a long time.

I just get a bit irritated when people say "but this is Pedants' Corner" when insisting that we should get it right, but then fail to provide any reasoned argument as to why it is right. True pedantry to me should be nit-picking about the evidence for a particular approach. That's important so we can for example shoot down the false pedants who make claims such as "you can't split an infinitive" or "you can't start a sentence with 'And'", both of which are phony.

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