November 1, 2009

Most Odious Words/Phrases in the English Language: #1

"It is what it is" ...

Here is what some one who uses this phrase really means: "Please, please think I am intelligent and know that while I have no idea what nihilism is, I gladly bend over and take what ever it is ... and then I will glibly declare that "it is," I don't care what Bill Clinton said, I think I know what it means. Please strike me squarely in a painful location for trying to sound smart when I am really just wanting to give in and end all discussion and/or productive efforts in the current circumstances."

Think about where a conversation goes after this phrase is spewed into it. Exactly. It's over. IIWII basically communicates ... let's quit. Better yet, let's justify quitting without knowing why. How about it? There's no reason to wrestle any further. By disguising the meaning of the phrase without saying so, you really can't tell that's what it going on. It odiousness defined. Plus, it's doublespeak such that every one can have their own definition while nodding in agreement with those who have their own contrary definition. Agreement without resolution. Sounds like "Bipartisanship's" cousin.

Well, hopefully, you've had a little fun and had your thinking challenged a bit as we counted down the Top 10 most odious words/phrases. So, have you noticed any common themes? I would submit that our Dirty Diez each in some way obscure meaning, display cowardice, and/or demonstrate laziness.

Let us remember that thinking is a moral exercise. Speaking is organized thinking, and writing is thinking organized even more.

To boil it down: Say what you mean. Mean what you say.


Opus #6 said...

Another talented pianist.

Your phrase "it is what it is" reminds me of my frustration with an old friend of mine. She campaigned for Obama as a "bundler". And now she refuses to discuss politics at all. OK. Politics was fine last year as she wanted all of her friends to give money and volunteer time to Obama. And now that things are going to heck in a handbasket she washes her hands? Hmph. Frustrating.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Do you remember when all was peaceful in Washington. It was before your elected officials tried to bend you over and make you squeal like a pig. It was before a blog like this was needed to voice a "free speech" opinion. Now the "people" of this GREAT land are being assaulted by the very people they sent to Washington to guard their freedoms.

The word I would have put at the top of the list is a new one from Washington. The word is "competition". The trouble with Washington using this word is they haven't the faintest idea of what it means. How can an insurance company compete with a federal government that doesn't have to show a profit to exist.

Last, an insurance company voiced concern to its customers about legislation in Washington. That is political FREE SPEECH protected by OUR Constitution. Who in their right mind would grant a "GAG order" preventing free speech? The one or ones that granted this gag order should be made to read "Their" Constitution on their way out the door after being impeached!

(sorry nickie ... I know I'm Banned)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wood, that's right. Obama and Co. don't view that they have been sent to D.C. to guard our freedoms, though. Rather, they were sent there to "remake" the country. So, competition is at the top of their list.

Opie, when you confront your friend, be prepared for her response: "It is what it is ... "

Or ... maybe "whatever". You know, Nick, I think you have it. That really is another way of saying IIWII

Kid said...

A Zebra dies and arrives at the Pearly Gates.. As he enters, he asks St. Peter, 'I have a question that's haunted me all of my days on earth.

Am I white with black stripes, or am I black with white stripes?'

St. Peter said, 'That's a question only God can answer.'

So the zebra went off in search of God.

When he found Him, the zebra asked, 'God, please - I must
know Am I white with black stripes, or am I black with white stripes?'

God simply replied 'You are what you are.'

The zebra returned to see St.. Peter once more, who asked him, 'Well, did God straighten out your query for you?'

The zebra looked puzzled.. 'No sir, God simply said 'You are what you are.''

St. Peter smiled and said to the zebra, 'Well then, there you are. You are white with black stripes..'

The zebra asked St. Peter, 'How do you know that for certain?'

'Because,' said St. Peter, 'If you were black with white stripes, God would have said, 'You is what you is..'

WomanHonorThyself said...

sweet!..I should accompany with mah geeeeeeeeetar..:)

LL said...

Opus #6 wrote, "And now that things are going to heck in a handbasket she washes her hands?"

Opus, she's a typical liberal and "they are what they are."

Anonymous said...

LL... They are who they are and they are the ones they've been waiting for.

Doom said...

You have an interesting 10 best of the worst. Some were surprises. Actually, this was a surprise. And yet, they seem right(ly wrong). A thinking man's list.

Oh, and you caught me like a deer in the headlights on this one. Not that I use the term often. But when I use it, I use it when I have (temporarily) given up and am tired of fighting or I am being extremely cynical. *ouch*

Thanks for the black eye. It matches a few missing teeth from some of the other top 10.

Rhod said...

DC, you're analysis is perfect. This one - indeed most of them - is a conversation stopper, and like all stock phrases, is worn like a piece of apparel.

This particular ugly mutilation of the verb "to be" flourished with talk-radio types, and I think it originally meant something about confronting reality.

It's similar to the comment of Robert DeNiro's character in "The Deer Hunter"...."this is this", and it's just as annoying.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your contributions. Rhod, you raise an interesting point. We use these vapid phrases to stop phrases with real meaning from advancement.

Woman, haven't we had this conversation about abstaining from the moonshine on Sundays?

Doom, you made me LOL. I've got a few black eyes, too ... Sorry about your teeth. Perhaps they will be covered under the new health care plan with the "consumer option" ... ahem.

Kid, I see you need some of that sensitivity training, or whatever. Forget it. It is what it is ... Sorry, my bad. I still feel bad about leaving this one off, Dude.

Kid said...

DC, I'm afraid we're going to have to leave it there.... out of time.