Wednesday, February 23, 2011
it is what it is
i often wonder how the silly cliche's we use today ever originate. personally, i think for a long time most started with oprah. women watch her show, and phrases like "don't go there", "don't even go there" seem to be used, abused, in too many dialogs.
when my kids were i high school, the annoying term was "like". boog would come home from school and say something like . . . "jessica and i were like walking home and this guy like whistled." and as was my attempt to curb her from continuing the speech habit, i would ask something like . . . "was he "like whistling"? or was he really whistling?" after dozens of these attempts, i think boog was able to pretty much strike the "like" from her daily vocabulary.
thanks to oprah, again, my opinion, my wife and others all too frequently would use "don't go there/don't even go there". my developed response to this phrase was . . . "i'm not going anywhere. i'm standing right here before you talking. where do you think i'm going?" with slightly lesser results, but i try.
now the most over-used phrase in the american english language, in my humble opinion (imho, as i've learned, is the way that's expressed on facebook. i'm not a fan of abbreviating, so i'll fore go that.), is "it is what it is". huh? duh! what is that supposed to mean?
literally, "it is what it is" is a true statement of fact. everything is what it is. why bother stating that?
but what is generally meant by those that use/abuse the phrase is "that's the way it is and it can't be changed, so just accept it". i hear it so much at work, at play, at home, in the mall, it nearly infuriates me. it is what it is, my ass.
how many of us have seen that, just perhaps, there may be a better way of doing a certain task. at work. at home. in the grocery store. and all too often when we suggest that a procedure, a method, can be improved, we're simply told, "it is what it is". which really translates, in most instances, to "that's the way we've done it for a long time and i have not the time, the energy, or the know how to change it". but who's gonna admit that.
for some crazy reason i remember a news broadcast i saw way back in 1968. bobby kennedy was giving some kind of campaign speech. the one statement that struck me then, that sticks with me now, is this: "some see things as they are and ask why. i dream things that never were, and ask why not?" if more would adapt that kind of attitude, we'd never again hear the dreaded "it is what it is".