The things we say

Now that I’ve gotten into the habit of sitting down on a weekly basis to blog, I find myself thinking about topics during the week. I’ve made some notes, you know, in one of those journals from last week’s post. It’s funny how simple, everyday things now make me think…hey yeah, that would be a good blog topic. So, a tag line is written in my blog journal and a red check mark goes through it when I’ve used that topic. I’m happy to say there are a lot more topics without check marks than there are with, so I’ve got topics to keep me going for a while anyway.

This week, it’s catch phrases. It seems most of us get caught up in the “phrase of the moment”. These days it seems to be, “Can we take this off line?”; when someone wants to take a phone meeting, usually a conference call with multiple people, into a discussion with fewer people involved. A few years ago it was, “due diligence”. Everyone had to make sure they were performing due diligence to ensure things ran smoothly….what the hell were they doing before the phrase became so prominent?

Those are more work and business related phrases, but we have them in our personal lives as well. Some come and go with the times, and others seem to stick with certain people, or geographic locations. “Cool” was a big one years ago, and some people continue to use it when their age just makes it kind of awkward to hear from them. Back in the days of the TV series, Happy Days, “Sit on it”, was also a catch phrase. Or from the show Alice, “Kiss my grits!”. OK, I’m really dating myself here.

For those of us in Canada, well sure, eh is a part of our general vocabulary. No, we don’t put it into every discussion we have, but I can pretty much guarantee is shows up in conversations without us even realizing it. It’s a part of our heritage and who we are and I’m damn proud of it, eh!

A currentIt is what it is one we, or I at least, hear a lot is, “It is what it is”, meaning there isn’t much you can do about it because, well, it is what it is. I know some people who use it regularly, and others who absolutely abhor the phrase. Love it or hate it, it’s one of the phrases of the times.

NOTE: photo is courtesy of my sister Sheree. She uses this phrase regularly and I happened to see this engraved sign when I was shopping one day. I just had to buy it and gift it to her and she was kind enough to take a photo and send it to me for this blog post.

I heard one recently, which is where the idea from this blog originated. An older gentleman contacted me to help him with some writing work. We had a wonderful chat, and repeatedly throughout the conversation he said, “The thing of it is….”. The phrase caught my ear and I jotted it down as we continued to speak. I actually did some research on this particular phrase, some of it quite interesting.

From Wiktionary;

The thing of it – English – Noun 1. (idomatic, colloquial) The important point to consider. Usage notes: In casual speech, and occasionally in casual writing, the verb be following this phrase is doubled, as “The thing of it is, is….” or “The thing of it was, was….

I also found that “The thing of it is”, is the title of a novel. Written in 1967, by William Goldman it’s the story of Amos McCracken, a 31 year old man who has written a popular show tune and who is having marriage troubles.

I know I’m going to have to get a copy of that book now as this author went on to write many wonderful pieces including; Princess Bride, Marathon Man, as well as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, to name just a few.

The thing of it is, we hear these catch phrases throughout our day and we quite often associate them with a particular person, period of time, or region of the world. Sometimes, upon hearing one, we may have a quick flash of memory of someone or something from our past. Love them or hate them, they are here to stay, whether temporarily as a passing fad, or written into our history.

With that, I’d done for the day. I’m out to enjoy the beautiful warmth and sunshine we are experiencing today. That’s it, that’s all, I’m done…apparently (as another friend would say).



3 thoughts on “The things we say

  1. I’m not a writer, but I do like to read!! You are an interesting writer….. you make me look forward to reading your next line. Good job! 😊Kathleen


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