At the end of which day?
It has been over a month since my last post. It was not a case of disinterest or lack of ideas, and I was pretty certain that no one was out there waiting and wondering when the next blog from Leigh Cunningham would arrive. Anyway, I have been busy on other projects and working on my next novel, Being Anti-Social, which is due for release in May 2012.
Elizabeth Botté designed the (original) cover and I think she did a great job capturing the essence of the story, which is: if you are comfortable with your own company and prefer to stay home eating pizza and drinking wine while watching TV, then you should not feel compelled to change to meet other’s expectations of you. Is it autobiographical? In many ways, yes it is, except that I am happily married (and much older) while Mace Evans, the protagonist, is divorced and single at 38.
One story-line in Being Anti-Social is Mace’s preoccupation with the abuse of the cliché, “At the end of the day.” Without fail, you will hear someone on TV utter these words every single day and during sports telecasts, I guarantee you will hear it endless times. And yes, this is a pet peeve of mine.
Literally, ‘at the end of the day’ (obviously) refers to the time of the day when one’s work or waking hours come to an end, and desirably that is how the phrase should be used, and only used. For example, “I will have an answer for you at the end of the day.” Perfect!
The cliché is used instead of other simpler alternatives that occupy much less space and time including: in conclusion; in summary; after all; anyway; therefore; or another popular bridging word, ‘so’. Quite often nothing is even required, for example, “At the end of the day, you will have to decide where you want to live.” Why not just say, “You will have to decide where you want to live”? Of course, it is also open to confusion as the beneficiary of this phrase, and others like it, might think they literally have to decide at the end of that day.
If nothing else, it is clear from this blog post that I have very little to complain about, but like Mace Evans in Being Anti-Social, each infringement of “at the end of the day” causes a physical reaction like a jab or a stab whenever I hear it, and unfortunately it happens a lot.
Personally, I prefer every possible alternative to the cliché. What about you or are you an abuser of “at the end of the day”? If so, please make it stop :)