Monday, December 16, 2013

Phrases to Eliminate

(1) "That ship has sailed" = It's too late to stop a process or event or policy. Dissent is not allowed. There will be no further discussion about it. Resistance is futile. Shut up. BUT -- that ship can be torpedoed.

(2) "I want to make it perfectly clear..." = often the preface to making something as clear as mud. Implies "because I'm saying that I'm making it perfectly clear, this means I'm being totally honest and transparent."

(3) "Nobody likes change" = an attempt to dismiss criticism of something that has nothing to do with adjusting to change, but is based on other issues or aspects of something. We all like and even crave certain types of change. We like exploring new things, learning new skills, seeing new movies, trying new restaurants, changing our hairstyles, experimenting with new art techniques, etc.

(4) "Hindsight is 20/20" = an exaggeration, since no sight is perfect, there are always errors or bias or mis-remembering involved.

(5) "It is what it is" = "It cannot change, that is its nature" -- but who defines "what it is"? This is sometimes another attempt to silence dissent, critique, or deeper analysis, or to deflect ethical questions. "Just accept it, you can't change it, leave it alone" is often the implied meaning.

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