The use of the ghastly phrase “it is what it is” has rightly been condemned
On Tuesday, The Guardian published a fascinating three page analysis of the last decade by Andy Beckett.
Aside from analysing such things as the financial turmoil and fashion of the period, two paragraphs best summed up where we’ve truly gone wrong. They read:
“One way to cope with chaos is to accept it. Over the last couple of years, a short, bland sentence has become ubiquitous in British conversations, from interviews with Premier League footballers to soliloquies from Love Island contestants: “It is what it is.”
“Usually, it means: ‘I’m learning to live with something negative’ – a personal setback, a wider injustice, difficult circumstances. It’s a mantra for an age of diminishing expectations, when many people no longer assume – unlike their postwar predecessors – that they will become richer than their parents, and live in an ever more sophisticated or just society, on an ever more hospitable planet. When people say ‘It is what it is’, they are rarely challenged. Instead, they are usually heard in respectful silence. In a difficult world, fatalism and stoicism are useful qualities.”
Elsewhere, the Urban Dictionary defines the ghastly “it is what it is” as simply meaning “fuck it” and suggests that it “seems to simply state the obvious but actually implies helplessness.” May this abominable phrase be sent where it belongs in the next decade and never be heard ever again.