Here’s the deal. The phrase, “It is what it is” is meaningless. We must stop saying this. I hear it everywhere – athletes, politicians, celebrities…people who have writers, people who should be able to come up with something original. And they’re all tossing it around as if it’s some deep, zen-like statement, as opposed to what it actually is – something to say when you have absolutely nothing to say.
It’s also annoyingly repetitive. If you want to say it is what it is you might as well shorten it and say, “It is.” Same thing, less time. Or you could just give a blank stare, save your breath entirely.
Can you imagine what kind of world we would live in if we spoke like this all the time?
“How was your day?”
“Well, it was how it was. We did what we did and we saw what we saw – how was your day?”
“Great. We went out and ate what we ate, then came home and partook in the activities which we partook in.”
“Oh, I almost forgot, later there’s going to be a party at the place where there’s going to be a party. Can you come?”
“I don’t think I can – I have to go where I have to go.”
“Well, it is what it is.”
Of course it is what it is – what else could it possibly be? You know what else is true? It isn’t what it isn’t. But nobody’s saying that.
But what bothers me most is that when someone says, “It is what it is,” they almost never mean it. What they usually mean is: I wish it wasn’t what it is, I can’t believe what it is, or what the hell is it?
Plus, it eliminates personal responsibility. Now, after something bad happens, one can just mutter, “It is what it is,” and hobble away as if nothing could ever be different. Why not try and figure out why it turned out to be this way? Why not work on making it turn out a different way next time? If you always say that it what it is, then I’ve got some news for you – it not only is what it is, it is what it was and it will continue to be. The problem is, people say this when they mean the exact opposite. What they really want to say is, “It shouldn’t be what it is and here’s why…” But they don’t have the cojones. It’s the most passive aggressive of all the bad clichés.
So, how am I going to do it? How will I rid the world of this catch-all catch phrase? By convincing you that we can change. But we have to act quickly. Everyone must take personal responsibility here. If you catch yourself starting to say that which must no longer be spoken – just end it differently. Any original sentiment, no matter how bizarre, is better than hearing this trite “thought” again. I wish I could give you some alternates, some other ways to express yourself, but I just don’t know of any.
Oh well, I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles.