It is NOT “It is what is it is’

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.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. I had my $550 per hour lawyer tell me when shaking his head with disappointment over a terrible, unjust ruling :”Well, it is what it is.”
    “Shit! You went to Harvard, then Stanford Law, then Clerked for the California Supreme Court Chief Justice, and you work for the #1 firm in the US, and you are going to charge me for THAT!”

    • A lot of my mates say this. I counted one of them use it 5 times in less than 15 minutes of convo. This was in relation to a girl he wants to date but is torn as he is already in a relationship with another girl yet both girls share the same name of Holly. He went on to say at least they’ve got the same name so ease of keeping one as a side. Eye roll at this point from me. Also I’m hoping wordsmith supremo Matthew will cover the new street or urban word of bare. I hear this all the time. Oh he’s bare rich or its bare full in here in relation to a busy pub or bar nightclub etc. It’s the same usage of the opposite of what the word really means. Eg. In the same way as sick, wicked or bad is used.

        • You seem boring. By putting everyone in a box as the same or calling a person unhinged because you don’t agree with them tells me you don’t accept others point of view. You learn nothing. Keep in your box love. Best place for you.

          • What horrible turns of phrases you use Julie. I think your parents ought to teach you some manners. You are most unpleasant and unkind and you should respect your elders and betters.

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