Thursday, August 21, 2008

What You Are Is A Dipshit

You know I feel about this. But it's getting worse. I just flipped on one of the many media outlets I'm currently boycotting, and Butch Stearns said that the nineteen Red Sox-Yankees games "are what they are." As I started writing this one minute later, he added that the Yankees "are what they are," too. People. You're not saying anything. If I ask you what the definition of "tree" is, and you say, "it's a tree," you're not telling me anything.

I can understand the average fool on the street or a dumb athlete saying this crap, and its singular sibling, "it is what it is," but you media-types are supposed to be educated. Everything in the fucking world is what it is. The point of verbal, written, and symbolic communication that we as humans have been blessed with the ability to perform is to provide information. Saying something "is what it is" is the same as saying nothing. Sitting there with a gag in your mouth and your hands tied behind your back, silent. But, hey, that's how I like to see the media anyway.

You what else is spreading like a disease? The "double is." It started with "the thing of it is, is..." You can always just cut out the second "is." The other day, when Pedroia, Lester, and Lowrie were taking questions from fans, a woman stood up and said, I kid you not, "My question is, is...." No! Just, "my question is..." and then ask the question! Or simply start asking the question, and your upward inflection at the end will let everyone know you are seeking an answer! (Which will probably be "the answer is the answer.")

It's funny, while searching for my old IIWII post, I noticed that someone said the dreaded phrase in comments--in 2006. That person lives in NYC. And McNamee famously said it, and is also a New Yorker. Which proves the theory that all these phrases start in NYC. Or LA if you're on the west coast, probably.

I got to NYC in '05, heard all these new phrases, then moved out of NYC in '07, and started hearing them all over again....
Well, I see what you mean about sports and the like, but I do find occasion to say it at work:

Employee: "This deadline they gave us is crazy. We'll be working the next three weekends just to have a prayer of making it."

Me: *shrug* "It is what it is. They know it's tight, so we'll just need to do whatever we can."

I guess the meaning there is "Complaining about it won't change anything." or "That's just the way it is."

But now, every time I say it, I'll remember this little post of yours and probably get tripped-up mid-sentence, lose my train of thought, and look like (more of) a blithering idiot manager.

Oh well. It is what it is, I guess.

Ha. I think that when you know the other person you're talking to knows all about the topic, then it's okay as far as you're not hiding any meaning from them. But you still could just not say it at all, and nothing would be different.

But when you say it to an audience and they want to know "what it is," it's bad to tell them that it is, you know, what it is. Instead of telling them what it is.

'is what it is' drives me nuts. imagine the substantive disagreement- "it is what it is!" "no, you're wrong, it is not what it is." "business is business". "no, business is not business."

i wish i could say i expect better from the media; instead i just look for fodder.

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