By Mike Welsh
If IT IS WHAT IT IS, WTF is it?
That totally annoying and allegedly versatile weaker sibling in the family of phrases used to convey a strong message of “suck it up princess” or “deal with it” is beginning to get on my goat. I don’t have a goat but more of that later.
Apparently It Is What It Is was the 2004 “Phrase of the year” (POTY) in the United States.
I flatly refuse to research the scores of meaningless “gems” short listed by the U.S POTY judging panel in the ensuing decade but I’ll wager most would be just as hollow and irritating as the phrase which got the gong in ’04 and which gets my goat in 2014.
I am, according to some dubious juries, a fair to middling word-smith. As at home with shortening the vowel to lengthening the consonant as I am flamboyantly flinging around the underused word redolent. And on at least seven occasions I’ve seamlessly slipped serendipitous into a sophisticated sentence which didn’t end with a preposition.
And if by the remotest chance you think I’m an uncultured yob or even worse, a wanker, I do have some considerable credibility in that other genre of literature, pop song-writing. In fact I was at the vanguard of mid 80s Country and Western/Feminist/Punk movement which swept the Mallee region of Victoria.
As leader singer/sole songwriter of the then, and still, anonymous five piece band, “Nuns Fart”, my 1986 anthem “Every-time I Reach For Your Stretch Marks You Pull Away” ended up on high rotation on Mildura radio station 1467 Happy Music 3MA and remained there for a record 16 weeks. And Countdown’s guru Molly Meldrum was quoted as saying “Nuns Fart are so far ahead of the game they run the risk of losing sight of what they were trying to say”. Ian was trying to be kind. But he made the effort, instead of labelling “Nuns Fart” as “they are what they are”.
Am I to understand the American POTY is something to be admired and exalted?
Or have I misunderstood the concept and it’s a piss take. Find the biggest wankiest, statement uttered by the biggest dickhead and make it the POTY. Irony.
Speaking of Irony, what if the 2015 U.S. POTY was “the Elephant in the room” meaning the theme of the title was something so wanky that trendy people simply used it, as trendies do, without question and balls to question what it meant? Lest they be exposed as uncool.
That’d be a win win. Another wanky phrase I detest. There’s no escape. More IRONY.
People who insist on using IIWII will only have themselves to blame when our PM begins to use the phrase as freely as he flings that other meaningless word “robust” about.
While finding a concise definition of IIWII has proven as “hard as a Goat’s knee”, I did serendipitously stumble over this spec of gold.
A trite, overused and infuriatingly meaningless cliché 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. Benny Kenny April 2009
At the end of the day IIWII is just a slovenly cliché, a very poor relation of the cliché family….a try hard.