At the End of the Day, I’m Tired

Femme Banale is glad to be back in your company after a short break.

For more than 20 years, I worked as an editor, and like many editors, possess a certain crankiness.* Maybe it’s the banality of enforcing the serial comma. Who knows.

Today I get cranky about the popular expression “At the end of the day.” News commentators use it with gravitas as the preface for telling us what’s really important. Politicians love to use the expression too. One Chicago mayoral candidate recently said “at the end of the day” seven times in less than a minute. Please make it stop.

The old-school language constables Strunk and White would describe this expression as “threadbare” from over use. It reminds me of another such expression from the Rolex 1980s: “the bottom line.” I’m not sure either metaphor works anyway. At the end of the day, I am not taking account of the day’s wins and losses; instead I’m unwinding with a book or garbage TV.

There are more like it out there. What cliché would you like to see sent to language detention?

*Yes, you sticklers, my writing mixes first person and third person. It’s my party…you know the rest.

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