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Frankly, it is what it is.

May 11, 2007
by

Frankly, I hate cliches and even though it is what it is (or they are what they are), it begs the question as to whether I am putting the cart before the horse.  To be completely honest with you, the issue at the end of the day is whether it is reasonable, so lets just put it all behind us and move on, because I don’t want to negotiate against myself.     

“Frankly, blah blah blah blah.”  I understand it is a keyword used for emphasis, but doesn’t it suggest that anytime you say something that doesn’t begin with “frankly,” you aren’t being frank.  Another variation just as lame is “To be perfectly honest with you, blah blah blah blah.” 

“It is what it is.”  This one is the worst.  I have never used it.  Ever.  And I don’t plan on it.  It means nothing to me.  Im concerned because I think it is becoming more frequent.

 “Sort of like.”  Ryan Howard did this sort of like five times in quotes in yesterday’s Inquirer.  Attorneys do it all of the time, I think to make what follows less harsh?  Who knows.

Any cliches I am missing that you hear in the practice of law, please share.  I want to make sure I add it to my list titled, “Never ever use.”  I try never to use any of this nonsensical language in my personal life and especially as a lawyer, when clients are relying on me to say something that actually amounts to something.  If you find that this language comprises a better portion of your vocabulary, ask yourself, “What are you really saying?”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael A. permalink
    May 11, 2007 9:37 pm

    Clearly, you should never start a sentence in a brief or make a legal argument with the word “clearly.”

  2. Abbie permalink
    May 11, 2007 10:24 pm

    Basically, it makes me crazy when people say “basically.” It’s a red flag for me to be concerned when I’m in court and my client starts a sentence with basically. Any sentence that starts with “basically, XYZ” is NOT going to help their cause (or mine). My favorite is “basically, this is all a misunderstanding.” Right.

  3. girlygirl34 permalink
    May 11, 2007 11:20 pm

    To be perfectly honest, cliches make me more confused than a woodpecker in a concrete forest. 😉

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