Can anybody explain Warren Buffett's sentence for me, please?

"The only time to buy these is on a day with no 'y' in it."

  • 7
    If this is a riddle, it could be as simple as 'Tomorrow' :) – Jon Oct 2 '17 at 14:25
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    Tomorrow is always tomorrow, this could imply "soon" (never). – Casey Kuball Oct 2 '17 at 15:09
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    And 'today' does have a y. – stannius Oct 2 '17 at 16:24
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    Similar to the comment above, the answer is tomorrow, which never comes. So you would always be waiting for an improvement in the poor performance. – Ryan Oct 2 '17 at 17:55
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    @Jon But tomorrow never comes. – Pharap Oct 3 '17 at 9:06

Since every day (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday...) ends in "y", this is a time which cannot occur. In other words, the expression "on a day with no 'y' in it' is a way to say "never".

You can also find the opposite "on a day ending with a 'y'" (or similar) to mean something like everyday.

  • 18
    There was a similar saying in the UK (before household fridges were common) that some types of food should not be eaten "when there is no R in the month" - i.e. in May, June, July, and August when the temperature (and particularly the overnight temperature) was likely to be high and spoil the food. All the other month names from September through to April do contain the letter R. – alephzero Oct 2 '17 at 14:35
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    @alephzero I've lived in the UK all of my life and the only time that I've ever heard of not eating anything when there isn't an 'R' in the month is for oysters and that is nothing to do with refrigeration. Its because oysters are out of season during their breeding season which is basically months without an 'R' in the name. Can you provide a reference? – MD-Tech Oct 2 '17 at 15:47
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    The typical usage for the "everyday" variant (in my experience) is "only on days ending in 'y'," with a bit of emphasis on the "only", to highlight the irony. – Dan Henderson Oct 2 '17 at 15:47
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    Note that there's a heavy implication of sarcasm in either expression. – chrylis -cautiouslyoptimistic- Oct 2 '17 at 16:57
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    No sarcasm in Do you drink beer? Only on days ending in 'y'. – AbraCadaver Oct 2 '17 at 19:43

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