At the end of the day, it is what it is

Lynn thinks that “people talking in catch-phrases” is yet another sign that the culture is on its way to decadence and eventual desuetude:

We all do it but many people over-do it. Going green, moving forward, at the end of the day, it is what it is (I really, seriously hate that one), think outside the box. We hear them all the time and it’s hard not to repeat them when they seem useful but wouldn’t it be more effective to find our own words?

I understand that not everyone can be a linguist. I understand that there are people who are “language challenged” just as there are people who are “math challenged” (and I admit I’m not as good at it as I wish I could be) but when I hear people on TV, in a position that requires (or should require) a person to be educated and articulate, using the wrong words, or less effective or exact words than they could be using, I can’t help but feel our whole culture is in decline. And what really makes me sad is that most people don’t even see this as a problem.

Television today doesn’t require you to be educated or articulate; it requires only that you keep people from changing the channel.

I’m as guilty as anyone of falling back on shtick — don’t even try to count the appearances of “[name] was not available for comment” here — but I suggest that breaking the rules is a trifle more forgivable if you happen to know which rule you’re breaking. (Your mileage may vary.)


  1. McGehee »

    20 October 2012 · 7:56 am

    it is what it is (I really, seriously hate that one)

    I wish I could think of a construction that communicates the idea as succinctly, as it seems to require communicating to a carpload of people on a daily basis.

    I mean each of them, every day. Because they’ll forget otherwise.

  2. fillyjonk »

    20 October 2012 · 8:36 am

    I’m not as bugged by “it is what it is” as I am by some of the others. “It is what it is” seems almost a mantra – a reminder that sometimes you can’t bend the world to fit your desires.

    “Doing more with less” and “the new normal” – now those, both of those I loathe. The concept they name, as much as the phrase, are loathsome to me.

    Also “work smarter, not harder,” but that one is hated by me partly because I know someone who uses it as an excuse for “I’ll slack off and let the rest of you carry the weight.”

  3. Tatyana »

    20 October 2012 · 11:59 am

    “It is what it is” sounds neutral, doesn’t bother me at all.
    What is annoying is when someone with pretension to education speaking exclusively in cliche.
    I have a co-worker like that. Her typical speech: “OMG, I will DIE! DIE! I opened the mail – and WHERE IS THE LOVE? I sent you the plans – but you didn’t know what to do WITH THESE PUPPIES! &&&”.True, she is a CHinese-American – but the emphasis on 2nd part of the combo. She was brought here as a child, educated in America and has no accent.
    After a whole day of this I can barely keep myself from screaming:”Read some f%$&king books! Learn the language!”

  4. Charles Pergiel »

    20 October 2012 · 12:08 pm

    I tried one of those word cloud things on my blog once, but the biggest word in the cloud was REALLY. I was chagrined. I removed the word cloud thing.

  5. Speaking in Tongues | Daily Pundit »

    20 October 2012 · 11:30 pm

    […] I’d add “really, seriously” to that list, me. […]

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