Thursday, January 03, 2008

Today is not so much "Library Links Day" as it is "Potentially Useful Resource Links Day." Sometimes librarians are just helpful! However, it's worth noting that LISJobs now has a forum, so anyone interested in library careers should click on over there and join. (Speaking of library jobs, I saw a listing for an "itinerant librarian." I know what they mean, but it conjures up visions of camel-riding librarians in my head.)

How many overused words and phrases did you utter last year? I noticed "it is what it is" cropping up everywhere recently, which bugs me. Does that even mean anything?

It's time for yearly resolutions, and Lifehacker has some tips on getting started. Joe's Goals looks like a particularly good one. If you need a print calendar for these sorts of things, you can make your own online for free!

National Geographic has a huge portion of their map collection available for purchase now, and it's also just fun to browse. They go back to the 1890s!

I am seriously considering using the Bureau of Communication for all my invitations, holidays, and other not-so-personal correspondence this year. You've all been warned!

Tomorrow: lots of great links from others!


bjkeefe said...


>> I noticed "it is what it is" cropping up everywhere recently, which bugs me.

I read a column somewhere a while ago (my specificity is unmatched anywhere) in which this phrase was singled out for ridicule, especially as used by misbehaving celebrities as an all-purpose self-pardon for their behavior. So, you are not alone.

I don't find this phrase meaningless -- it seems equivalent to "Que sera sera." I agree with you that any phrase can become irritating with repetition, but this one doesn't bug me the way some do. For example:

o God bless the United States of America.

o The candidate you'd like to have a beer with.

o The Surge (TM) is working.

o Asking tough questions ...

o Making tough decisions ...

o Frankly, ...

Perhaps I'm a little too caught up in political coverage lately. Oh well. It is what it is.

Jinnet said...

I agree with you on the use of "tough." Life is tough!

I still don't understand "it is what it is," though. "Que sera sera" means (to me, at least) "we don't know what will happen in the future, so there's no point in worrying about it." Okay. I can deal with that. "It is what it is" means...what? Don't try to change the status quo? Don't ask for details? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar? It is, are? I'm not so much irritated by it as I'm baffled.

bjkeefe said...

I think of the two as expressing the same sort of acceptance of things that can't be changed. "Que sera sera" means, I think, "Whatever will be, will be," so it speaks more about a future one cannot affect, while the American version reflects being unable to do anything about the past. It says the same thing to me as "what's done is done."

I'm not a big fan of "it is what it is," especially when it becomes a verbal tic or an excuse to stay disengaged, but there's also something about the line that could be interpreted as a mature acceptance of reality.

And, to change the subject slightly, here's one of my all-time pettingest peeves: How come no one just works anymore? Why is everyone "working hard?"