Insightful Political Analysis
Posted by languageandgrammar on May 21, 2008
An MSNBC political pundit must have heard about my unadvertised use one amorphous cliche from my book, get the second free special since he gave this insightful analysis of the extended Democratic nomination process last night using two entries from the book: At the end of the day, the delegate map is what it is.
Believe me, especially since I’ve been doing an extensive amount of radio promotion for Literally, the Best Language Book Ever, I understand that live broadcasts do not always result in the most crsip, articulate discussions (I plan to write an off-topic post this weekend about doing the radio interviews); however, there was nothing in that phrase that added anything to the discussion. At the end of the day is a trendy, non-descript expression, and it’s unclear under these circumstances if he meant literally at the end of that day (Monday), or if he meant at the end of the following day (Tuesday) since there would be additional primaries, or if he meant at the end of the entire primary season.
That part of the phrase–at the end of the day–was great American novel material compared to the whopping conclusion, it is what it is. That, or any slight variation of it, says absolutely nothing. Of course, it is what it is! What else could it be–what it isn’t?
Ok, let’s make a couple of logical assumptions and replacements to see if we can determine what was meant by the statement. Let’s assume that he was referring to the end of the primary season when he said at the end of the day since that’s the most important of the three possible time frames being discussed, and let’s replace the it in it is what it is with delegate map since that was the reference.
The new, more specific statement is then at the end of the primary season, the delegate map is what the delegate map is. I don’t know about you, but that didn’t help me. I wish he would have just said what he meant in his own words; I might have learned something.
Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever
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