Topic: United States/Mississippi

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🔗 The "If By Whiskey" speech

🔗 United States 🔗 Biography 🔗 Biography/politics and government 🔗 United States/Mississippi

Judge Noah S. "Soggy" Sweat, Jr. (October 2, 1922 – February 23, 1996) was a judge, law professor, and state representative in the U.S. state of Mississippi, notable for his 1952 speech on the floor of the Mississippi state legislature concerning whiskey. Reportedly the speech took Sweat two and a half months to write. The speech is renowned for the grand rhetorical terms in which it seems to come down firmly and decisively on both sides of the question. The speech gave rise to the phrase if-by-whiskey, used to illustrate such equivocation in argument.

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🔗 Thank God for Mississippi

🔗 United States 🔗 Languages 🔗 United States/Mississippi

"Thank God for Mississippi" is an adage used in the United States, particularly in the South, that is generally used when discussing rankings of U.S. states. Since the U.S. state of Mississippi commonly ranks at or near the bottom of such rankings, residents of other states also ranking near the bottom may say, "Thank God for Mississippi," since the presence of that state in 50th place spares them the shame of being ranked last.

Examples include rankings of educational achievement, business opportunities, political progressiveness, obesity rates, overall health, the poverty rate, life expectancy, or other objective criteria of the quality of life or government in the 50 states. The phrase is in use even among state government officials and journalists, though occasionally with a slight twist.

Mississippi's poor reputation is such a common trope in American culture that when Mississippi does indeed rank well in something, the phrase "Thank God for Mississippi" may get brought up just to discuss how it does not apply in the given circumstance. The saying comes from Mississippi's poor ranking as compared to the other 49 states, not from a global perspective.

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