Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Cliché: (let's) face it

Meaning: confront the facts or the truth (example)

For: my good friend @maniactive (say "Hi!" on Twitter)

Rewrite 1: go nose-to-nose with the facts
Rewrite 2: get one-on-one with the truth
Rewrite 3: stare at the offending news
Rewrite 4: look the ugly monkey in the eye

Comment: "Face it" is usually an emotional response to exasperation or frustration or an in-your-face retort to baiting or taunting. At worst, it's given when we haven't a lot of time to spend defending our position or helping someone rationalize their disbelief. At best, it's provided when options are few. Often, it's become a habit-response like "ya know" or "so" at the beginning of a response. Adding "let's" at the front seems to be less confrontational, as an invitation to face the facts.

Although you can try some of these rewrites, if you're bothered by the habitual nature of using "face it" as a response, a better course might be to first wean yourself from it by substituting other similar phrases, like "Look,..." or "Face facts,..." or the more colloquial, "see the light" or "reality check!" Try rotating use among them. You'll become more aware of saying these things and it will be work trying to change. Over time, stop using each of the substitutes until you no longer use any of them. If you catch yourself saying, "Face it," immediately correct yourself, even if mentally. 

The other option for habitual use is to stop without adjusting (cold turkey, another cliché). I used to catch myself beginning a sentence with "Uh..." and I stopped myself by mentally catching myself and replaying the situation over in my head and later practicing what I said without the verbal lapse. You can do this in this situation, too. Practice giving answers without saying, "Face it" at the beginning.

I hope this helps!

Catch me on Twitter: @a_copywriter


Unknown said...

I invite you to give the evil eye to the ugly monkey that dances frantically before us...

... yes, I think I will say that from now on instead of "Let's face it..."

Thanks, Alan!

Booksville Bookclub said...

It has a certain ring to it! ;-)

Anonymous said...

What of the poor nopera-bo? For lack of a face, she can face nothing.