Quote: “This is Texas hot.” Carla Sullivan, dockmaster at Hyannis Marina, Massachusetts, in the Associated Press.
Figure of Speech: anthimeria (an-thih-MER-ia), the verbing figure.
Global warming is having a swell summer. In New York City, the nighttime temp failed to dip below 92 last night. Pitiful hordes carrying little more than a bathing suit and a bottle of gin could be seen fleeing to the Hamptons.
Carla Sullivan, a resident of normally brisk Cape Cod, describes the weather by using “Texas” as an adverb instead of a comparison. Not “It’s as hot as Texas,” but “It’s Texas hot.” When you change normal grammar — turning a noun into a verb, a verb into an adjective, and so on — you coin an anthimeria. It’s one of Figaro’s faves, as anyone who has read his “In Defense of Like” knows.
Carla also could have anthimerized the weather by saying “It’s Hell hot.” That works, too. In fact, we’re not sure we can tell the difference.
Snappy Answer: “And Florida humid.”