As the end of the year approaches, there’s no better time to examine the commonplace phrases that litter our existence, and weed out those that are well past their sell-by date. Let’s dive in, shall we?
- At the end of the day… Apparently, everything resolves itself of clutter and vagueness “at the end of the day”. Nothing is clear in the morning, or at noon, or even by late afternoon. It’s all going to be clear as day at the end of the day. This tired phrase suffers from two problems: 1) When exactly is the end of the day? The working day? Midnight? What if I’m in a different time zone? And 2) if something is clear to the utterer of this phrase now, why do the rest of us have to wait until the end of the day? As these problems are significant enough to render the phrase meaningless, I say we dump it. Instead, try this: “Let’s cut through the crap…”.
- The fact of the matter is… Similar to the above phrase, this is a lazy way to say “Here’s the truth as I see it.” So why not just say that? Calling something a fact does not make it so. Apparently, a significant number of Americans believe that Mt. Rushmore is a naturally-occurring phenomenon. That ain’t no fact, Betty.
- [X] is the new Black… Enough already. Apparently everything can be the new Black. And I’m not convinced there’s anything wrong with the old Black. Let the new thing stand on its own merits.
- It is what it is… Really? ‘Cuz I was sure that it was something else. Another example of a lazy way to end a conversation. C’mon, people…we’re better than that.
- Just sayin… This passive-agressive crime against nature is my personal fingernails-on-chalkboard. If you’ve got something to say, say it without the lame attempt to soften the blow. For example: “Your outfit makes you look like a hipster doofus. Just sayin…” Does that make the recipient feel better? Does adding “just sayin’”magically transform the comment from snarky jibe to constructive feedback? It does not. In fact, it reveals that the user of the phrase is aware of the comment’s inherent snarkiness. Hah! J’accuse!
I’m sure faithful readers have their own phrases that are ready for the bin. I’m happy to pass them along. As for me, I’m not willing to wait for the end of the day to discover the fact of the matter that a tired phrase is the new black or even that it is what it is.
The first word spoken on the moon was “Okay”.