What’s my least favourite contemporary phrase? “It is what it is. . .” by a country mile. It grates on six different nerves at once, like a wildly errant dentist’s drill. And yet, as much as I loathe it, I’m forced to admit that the phrase has a certain saliency–enough that I recently caught myself mouthing it, though I would never utter it aloud. In the end, perhaps it is the age that has given rise to this expression that I dislike more than the expression itself.