File under: Off Track!

Sorry, Gayle-n-Laura, but Bill Belichick didn't start a trend with his use of "It is what it is." Consider these long-ago uses of said cliché:
"People say things like that about our ballclub and they may be right. But them thinking it doesn't necessarily mean it's so, just like us thinking we're a good team and can beat the Celtics isn't necessarily wrong. It is what it is."--Houston Rockets coach Del Harris, May 1981
"But there is only so much sprucing up a city of this size can do for one man, even for an American President. It is what it is. It has seen Presidents before."--Then-Globe reporter Tom Ashbrook on Shanghai's preparations for a visit from then-President Ronald Reagan, April 1984

"Trust me: You don't want to gather the kids around the kitchen table and then flip out a copy of "Safer Sex Can Be Sensuous" for discussion. Also, you don't want to show it to your mother, unless you want Mom to go into immediate cardiac arrest. It is what it is: a handbook for homosexuals."--Then-Globe columnist Mike Barnicle, in a November 1987 piece titled, confusingly, "I'll Tolerate Gay Sex, but Don't Demand I Accept It as Well"
In fact, the earliest use I can find of the phrase--albeit in a slightly different context--comes in Aristotle's Metaphysics: "It is, however, vital not to overlook the question of what it is to be a thing and the definitional account of how it is what it is. If we leave these out, scientific inquiry is mere shadow boxing." This would have been written somewhere in the 3rd Century B.C.

I'm just saying.

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