Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I Am So Sick of that Tautology!

Apropos the present Blog slogan borrowed from my post borrowed from Futurama, I've often tried to come up with all the tautological cliches out there but never really managed to get them all down at once. But I think this is the whole list I'm aware of:
  • "You gotta do what you gotta do."
  • "Boys will be boys."
  • "It is what it is."
Any others you can think of? I actually feel like I forgot one while I was typing. Not like near-synonyms juxtaposed, but real definitional, "A is A" kind of stuff. No credit for "Stupid is as stupid does".

Tautologies seem to make particularly good cliches since they have the quality of being apparently meaningful yet logically vacuous.

9 Comments:

Blogger Pete said...

Very commonly, at my job, I am heard to say "Another day, another day."

Mostly, people respond as if to correct me "... another dollar; ...another doughnut, etc."

But no, I insist, I do not get paid enough to economized my hours at the store in such a matter. I merely mean that "time moves inexorably forward."

Then they ask me if I'm a science student, and I say "No, I'm a grocery clerk."

3/27/2007 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Dad said...

This really isn't apropos this post, but in I am a Strange Loop Hofstadter quotes Dennett as saying, in a review, that one of Hofstadter's mottos is "Anything you can do I can do meta."

That could be a college t-shirt motto, don't you think?

3/29/2007 5:03 PM  
Anonymous danblim said...

One of my favorite Sondheim lines reads like that: "then you career from career to career."

I suppose "A rose is a rose is a rose" doesn't count, since that's the point of the line.

"Hey, a job is a job," where job can be replaced by anything you take despite not wanting to.

3/30/2007 3:33 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Also "I am what I am," which I guess you can take as a variation of "It is what it is."

Speaking of vacuous cliches, it's interesting to get to know the actual origin and correct use of the exception that proves the rule.

My favorite college t-shirt motto was from Swarthmore's mathematics department: "We Math Good."

3/30/2007 9:26 PM  
Anonymous danblim said...

A sandwich is just a sandwich, but a Manwich is a meal...

3/31/2007 1:29 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

Mmmmm... Promotional tautology.

3/31/2007 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Dad said...

On a Southwest flight this week (relevant because the flight attendents are professional flakes) the guy doing the safety demo said: "Put the mask over your nose & mouth and breath normally. If you don't breath normally, breath as you normally breath."

3/31/2007 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Dad said...

Add your own e's, please.

3/31/2007 4:06 PM  
Anonymous danblim said...

First things first.

4/11/2007 11:24 PM  

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