This morning, I had the misfortune of listening to someone discussing the merits and disadvantages of a new phone. Within the three or four minutes of his video, he used the expression, “At the end of the day” six times. Never mind the fact that I detest this particular cliché. My question is, why are we so lazy that we have to rely on clichés to fill air space?
The first alternative is to say nothing and proceed with your sentence. Another choice is to use less hackneyed expressions such as, “therefore,” “also,” “additionally,” or “finally.” I can think of several reasons why this travesty occurred. He felt a void that he could easily fill with “At the end of the day.” He was nervous and figured that this expression would be universally understandable and acceptable. Or maybe he didn’t think at all.
As a writer and educator, I am probably more than a little conscious of the words that people use. If that is offensive to some, I have no serious defense. But just think of all of those clichés that we are forced to hear in any particular day. Bottom line. If you know what I mean. That’s what I’m talking about. And of course, there is the unfortunate use of the word “tons” that includes any item that we refuse to describe as many, quite a few, considerable, numerous, or any other adjective.
If you’re thinking that I should ignore many of the expressions that I dislike so intensely, you’re probably right. By no means do I suggest that my speech is free of disagreeable expressions – by no means? You can be certain, however, that as much as I have influence over my speech and that of the students whom I teach, I encourage more creative and less trite language. That’s why they let me teach. And no-one ever gave me permission to write – it’s simply something that I do. Shalom.