It is what it is – I hate hearing that phrase because it is way overused. You might even call it cliche. I wanted to find out more about this cliche so I looked up the phrase at Clichesite.com. Turns out it is not considered a cliche to them. What is a cliche then? Dictionary.com defines cliche as “a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse”. It sounds like a cliche to me.

“It is what it is” – I cringe when ever I hear it. Who came up with this and what does it mean?

I Googled it and the first thing that came up was Urban Dictionary. There were 22 definitions. The abbreviated range of interpretation is 1) acceptance that you can’t change things or 2) you really don’t care. My favorite definition is #5: “A trite, overused and infuriatingly meaningless cliche that is utilized by provincials who think they are adding some deep, meaningful insight during a discussion when all they are offering is senseless, unwarranted repetitiveness to what would otherwise be a far better conversation had they not shown the shallowness of the gene pool they spawned from by using this asininely useless and redundant phrase to begin with.”

I have also noticed that “it is what it is” is also a conversation ender. When someone doesn’t want to talk about something, or has run out of things to say on the subject, inevitably they say “It is what it is” and the other person nods their head and says “hmmm”.

I think people find comfort in using cliches. Do they think if they use the cliche, they will appear as smart, funny or talented as the thousands of other people who have said them? Where is their originality? Come on people – think outside the box (another annoying and overused phrase.)

After searching online for others that share my aversion, I find more people who use it than those of us who don’t. It is what it is.

Advertisements