You’re Not Alone in Feeling Like It’s All Been Done Before

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on March 8, 2009 in Anecdote, Language, Writing |

One problem I often run across while writing (have I mentioned that I’m a writer?) is that I feel like there’s nothing new to write about. I’ll be sitting with my laptop, type, type, typing away, and I’m feeling great. I think I’m brilliant! Can I possibly come up with any more awesome ideas?

Then a few days later I reread a book and think Hmmm. Why does this feel so familiar? I must be remembering the last time I read this book. No. It’s not that. It reminds me of something I’ve read more recently. Oh, right. My moment of inspired originality. Only my writing is not nearly as good as this is. So much for having awesome ideas. This isn’t even a new complaint among writers…even my lamentations are rip-offs.

To console myself I’ve come up with a list of expressions that are disgustingly overused right now. I narrowed the list down to just three (if I didn’t cut myself off there, who knows when I would’ve stopped). These three in particular make me very angry; so angry in fact I think if I hear any of them one more time, I might just implode.

3. Shabby Chic–I’m all for a good oxymoron, but this is one of those terms that everybody’s been using to describe everything. My car is an old junker, but I covered the seats in velour, so now it’s shabby chic. (No, it’s just a piece o’ crap!) I’d call my style shabby chic because I decorated my house with a bunch of stuff I bought at a tag sale. (No, you’re just cheap and now your house is full of a bunch o’ crap that other people discarded!)

2. Dark Horse–From American Idol to NASCAR, commentators are predicting that every middle-of-the-road competitor is a dark horse. A true dark horse is racehorse, candidate, athlete, etc… that really comes from nowhere to win. By definition you can’t predict a dark horse, so stop trying to do it!

1. It is what it is–This has to be the most meaningless expression ever created. It literally has no meaning. And every reality TV star that’s getting his 15 minutes of fame is using it. Just typing this phrase caused me pain. The next time I hear someone say this, I won’t implode. I will explode into a million bloody pieces all over the place. That way at least there will be some evidence of my extreme irritation.

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  • Donna M. McDine says:

    Your posts always make me LOL…thanks for the humor you find!

    Thanks for commenting over at my blog also…much appreciated.


  • lishacauthen says:

    “It is what it is.”

    But it DOES sound exceedingly profound, doesn’t it? Like, “I yam what I yam,” (Popeye), or “You are what you eat,” (Lindlahr).

    I will do my part and pledge not use any of these three phrases for an entire year. Thanks for making this nation stronger, KT. 😉

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