Monday, July 14, 2008

Despite my noble and heartfelt efforts...

...people still don't know how to talk.

It started innocently enough, with a well-intentioned -- but cluttered and somewhat confusing -- little phrase that many of us seemed forced to utter from time to time:

"What it is, is..."

I understand. Really, I do. They're wanting to know what it is, and we want them to know that we hear them asking what it is, and we really want to tell them what it is. So it just seems necessary to say "is" twice, right there in a row like that. It's a conundrum, I agree. No hard feelings. Let's move on. No need to dwell on the past.

But then something happened. We apparently got really used to saying "is" twice in a row like that. We started thinking that every time we said "is," once wasn't enough. It seemed to us, in our moronic, linguistically-challenged ignorance, that "is" was no longer a strong enough word to merely utter once. If we want to tell people what something is, we have to say "is, is."

And so we find ourselves here:

"But the reality is, is that..."

People, listen to me. This is stupid. Stop. Public speakers, preachers, especially. You're the main culprits here. Pace yourselves. Don't throw out unnecessary is's. I know you're always wanting to tell us what the reality is. I appreciate that. This is your bread-and-butter. First you tell us how crazy and dumb some widely held belief is (and we all try to pretend that none of us hold to that crazy-dumb belief, even though we so do). Then you tell us What the Reality Is. This is your big moment.

"But the reality is..." Cue dramatic music, every head bowed, blah blah blah.

But you get so excited, and you forget something; something very simple: The reality simply is. The reality isn't is is.

I think this might be Clinton's fault. I mean, W butchers some serious words, but it was Slick Willie who first called into question the meaning of "is." I mean, who could blame the poor man, at a time like that, all caught with his pants down and such.

But hey, however we got there, I don't care. I'm not here to dwell on the past. I'm not concerned with was. I'm concerned with is.

The reality is that people don't know how to talk. But don't worry. I'm here to help.

Also, I write songs too as well.

8 comments:

Johnny! said...

Maybe it's poetry and they're starting a new line.

The reality is
Is...


I dunno--you're the rapper.

My word verification for this comment is "damxl." Ask your doctor about Damxl. May cause oily anal discharge.

rk said...

wow, Johnny. Just... wow.

martyr said...

Preach on!
Fight against the "I do, do that" as well.
Fight the good fight of grammar.

Lauri Hahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauri Hahn said...

Although these aren't in the same category, as long as you're on a rampage: "irregardless." Fix that one, will ya?

And, "adult woman."

Come to think of it, Grammar Marshall Bill, why don't you put a little jingle jangle to your linguistic pet peeves & record a new Schoolhouse Rock album?

Beth Miner said...

I also too as well enjoy "it's not too too bad". That one is courtesy of a good friend of ours in Oregon, so I can't blame it all on Texas.

Jeff said...

Well, since we're all sharing our grammar pet peeves, it's pretty annoying when people say "I could care less"... when it's supposed to be "I COULDN'T care less" Think about it!

David Guion said...

Hi Ross,

Okay, how about this quote:

"If any of you attended the event Sunday night when Todd Bentley spoke at the Galen Center, none could deny WAS WAS some power and authority in the room."

It's from the very first sentence of a July 28th post over at iworshiphere blog.

Perhaps a typo, perhaps not.

Either way, maybe you should be just as concerned with was was as you are with is is.

Anyway, just thought I'd share the love.

Bye, bye.

David Guion
one24worship.com
Encouraging the daily praise and worship of Jesus Christ because worship is is a daily lifestyle, not just a weekly event!

DISCLAIMER: Any reference to "Todd Bentley" in the above comment has been used strictly for editorial purposes and should not be misinterpreted as as an endorsement.