Saturday, December 20, 2014

Origins of the Phrase "It Is What It Is"

Last Christmas season I fired up my Kindle and read for the first time A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  Then this season the bride did the same.  This was a repro of the original version with illustrations, which in itself was quite interesting.

We are Christmas Carol junkies, trying to see a stage production every year and watching all of the various film versions we own (our fav is the 1951 version with Alastair Sim).  Something about the story just seems to resonate with us, and we are please to note that this habit seems to be passing down to our descendants.  So I guess we did something right!

Anyway, back to the now-ubiquitous phrase "It is what it is."

Charles Dickens may well have foreshadowed it in writing about the Ghost of Christmas Past, who famously replied when Scrooge was complaining about seeing his painful past:

"I told you that these were the shadows of this things that have been," said the Ghost.  That they are what they are, do not blame me!"

Historical references aside, I just love how the book concludes, after Scrooge realizes what a d*ck he has been his entire life:

Scrooge was better than his word.  He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father.  He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew...and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well....

Watch it this year, and feel good about what you may learn.

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