Sometimes it’s better to say nothing.
Today’s entry started as an advocacy piece calling for a ban on “it is what it is” from modern language. “It is what it is” was descriptively clever when it we heard it for the first time a few years ago, but essentially it means nothing and has no real value in conversation in 2010. Let’s all move on.
For me, writing a blog post generally involves three steps–having an idea, writing about it and, before posting, doing a quick check to be sure it hasn’t already been done. I had finished up a piece on phrases that mean nothing. “We’re here now” and “I’m just saying” are two more examples.
It turns out my idea was far from original. Moreover, I was troubled that I hadn’t recognized more phrases for their nothingness. Guess what? “It is what it is” is at the top of the list of 10 Annoying Phrases That Serve No Purpose on the Asylum for All Mankind website.
Upon scanning Asylum’s list, I was troubled to see that I have used most of these nothing phrases. In fact, just last Tuesday, I wrote, “Don’t get me wrong.” Asylum asks, “Isn’t it implicit in most human communication that your intention is always to be correctly understood?”
It just shows how easy it is to slip into sloppy patterns, especially when one person sets a bad example.
Thank you, Asylum for all Mankind, for issuing this wake-up call. Going forward (last one on the list) I will be more careful.