“It is what it is.” Well, it's a redundant truism is what it is, and not a particularly good one at that. I've noticed the phrase “it is what it is” gaining popularity over the last few years. At first, it was a mere annoyance. I'd hear friends and colleagues pepper their conversations with it every so often. 50 Cent used it in a few of his lyrics. Football coaches mixed it in with their coach-speak.
I'd cringe at hearing “it is what it is,” but I'd let it go. I figured if I ignore it, it will just go away. Kind of like the word “bodacious” in the late 80's. I thought that word was just retarded, as was any mouthbreather who used it. After a few months, it died a quiet death, leaving only a few traces of its pathetic existence in the Bill and Ted movies. Sadly, I hear “it is what it is” more now than I ever have before. It just won't go away. Now, with the use of “it is what it is” reaching epidemic proportions, I can no longer bear it. This cliché must die.
At least saying you're “going to give 110%,” another peeve, is saying something—mathematically impossible though it may be. Saying “it is what it is” is no different than saying “um.” It's filler. It adds nothing to the conversation. What in the hell does it even mean anyway?
No shit, it is what it is. What else could it possibly be other than what it is? Nothing! It is what it is. This is implied for every noun. It is the basis of existence. “It is what it is not” is a false statement—it cannot happen. If “it is what it is not” is a true statement, then it would have to be everything and nothing in order for it to be what it is as well as what it is not. You can't have it both ways. It is what it is. So why tell us that it is what it is when it is already so apparent? Do we have to constantly to point out this logic in the middle of a discussion?
If you ever find yourself about to blurt out the worthless phrase, “it is what it is,” just throw up your arms, make a fist, and punch yourself right in the nose. Save me the trouble.
"We showed up and gave 100%, and it is what it is."— NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, after finishing second in the Nextel Cup championship.
“Well, it is what it is.”—George W. Bush
"I made a mistake," said Britney Spears after being caught on camera driving with her baby son on her lap, "and so it is what it is, I guess." Allow me to interject. It is what it is you guess?! This quote by Ms. Spears wins the first and only Zenestex.com “Most Incredibly Vacuous Thing Ever Said” Award.