The above quotation has been credited to mainly three individuals – Will Rogers, Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner. Which – if any – of the three actually coined the phrase is a matter of conjecture, but it’s validity is not.
Join me as I attempt to create my own weather-related quote that is sure to stand the test of time.
“It’s hot, y’all.”
Never have I said so much in so few words.
First, let’s start with the obvious. The phrase itself clearly goes without saying, but that doesn’t stop anyone from saying it. Check your Facebook feed from the last few days and you’re bound to find status updates that echo each other, in addition to photos of interior vehicle thermometer displays showing 110-plus degrees.
I took one such photo myself but didn’t post it. Too many people beat me to the punch.
Simply put, it’s hot and everyone knows it. I’m not sure I remember another time in my 32 years when I stepped outside and immediately felt as if my eyeballs might be melting.
So, based on the criteria of accuracy and brevity, I think “It’s hot, y’all” passes the test. It gets the point across without being long-winded about something everyone already knows.
Does that make it redundant? I don’t think so, if only for the reason I stated above – the possibility that it might never have been this hot before in western Kentucky. Check the history books for daily high temperature records and you’ll find we’ve probably broken several. A quick glance at weather.com shows this was the hottest June since 1988, and at least one day last week, the temperature had to be above the previously highest recorded temperature of 107 degrees in August 2007.
So yes, it’s hot and everyone knows it, but it’s noteworthy because of the heat’s extremity. Noteworthy and quoteworthy.
“But you said ‘y’all.’ How many memorable quotes use such a stereotypically Southern word?” you might ask.
I can think of at least two.
“Y’all come back now, y’hear?” was popularized on the 1960s television show The Beverly Hillbillies, but ask any of your elders and you’ll likely find that the phrase has been around quite a bit longer than that.
The other phrase I’m thinking about is the one yelled by the redneck – you all know him – right before he does something stupid that is certain to end in serious injury.
“Hey y’all, watch this!”
No, “y’all” isn’t enough to disqualify a quote for potential widespread use.
There it is. I’ve done it. In three words – one of which isn’t even a word – I’ve created the next quotation for you to pass down through the generations. Don’t forget where you heard it first.
Justin McGill is executive editor of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.