It Is What It Is
In a recent CBS Money Watch article entitled 10 things you should never say at the office, author Marlys Harris lists what she considers to be 10 of the ❛most annoying and overused office cliches❜. Among the 10 English phrases listed is the expression it is what it is. Harris states that this English idiom is the equivalent of ❛get used to it❜ and provides the following example:
Your administrative assistant doesn’t know how to answer the phone. It is what it is.
It’s easy to see why this English phrase is so popular. It is a statement, yet it basically says ❛nothing❜ and can conveniently be used in such a vast variety of situations as a general all-purpose statement. For example:
The unemployment rate has never been as high as it is now. But what can we do? It is what it is.
Stop complaining. The situation won’t change. It is what it is.
It is what it is. Luigi is the worst English Grammar Club vice-president that we have ever had, but he is the only one who wanted to do the job.
Two other English expressions that are void of meaning but can also be used in many different situations (if not EVERY situation) are the general responses You don’t say! or How about that!, both of which mean ❛Oh, really!❜. For example:
Luigi: I am the new vice-president of the English Grammar Club.
Abir: You don’t say!
Luigi: Nearly all of the club members voted for me.
Abir: How about that!
What other English phrases can you use when you want to say something - but, in fact, express nothing?