Part 3. Further annoyance with "it is what it is"

Filed under blogging, Culture-internet, Work


I posted on the phrase on my other blog that I would like to extirpate this phrase  from the English language or at least the workplace. Rather than do an original one I’m running a semi ok off  post.  I’d prefer people would say ” it’s this way because”  which gives an indication that they’ve looked at the issue rather than just accepted it on a prima facie interest.

“it is what is is” 

Today I heard it several more times and  it didn’t have a calming effect , quel surprise? I needed to look further into what irks me so much about this new catch all.

It is what it is” means what it means. Depending on context, it can be a statement of resignation or of defiance, but in neither case does it connote the optimistic good humor of “It’s all good.” If anything, it expresses the absence of emotion, the abdication of feeling. Although it seems to imply value-neutrality, that misses the point; it’s not so much that something is neither good nor bad, but rather that its quality simply isn’t relevant, that it’s not worth the energy to make a value judgment.

To put it another way — it doesn’t matter what you think about it because you can’t do anything about it anyway. It was in this spirit that Al Gore invoked the phrase after winning the popular vote and possibly the electoral tally as well: “I strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court decision and the way in which they interpreted and applied the law. But I respect the rule of law, so it is what it is.”

Flak Magazine: It’s All Good vs. It Is What It Is, 06.11.03


Radar, Oh really ? It is what it is… Welcome to tautology Thursday.

One of the colloquial phrases, ok  maybe it’s not just AZ but I hear it more here, that’s been annoying me is the Popeye school of    “it is  what it is” as a cover all for  ill conceived, poorly implemented or ineffable solutions that have wandered onto the radar.This verbal chaff that’s tossed up in the air , rather than  fixing a location onto the problem , obscures the problem and by the time all the flakes have landed , or given up and go home,  there’s still the small matter of a  missile  bearing down on you. As a bonus there’s now less time and fewer options to react with.  

tautology – Definitions from
1. (logic) a statement that is necessarily true; “the statement ‘he is brave or he is not brave’ is a tautology”

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