We must no longer tolerate the phrase “at the end of the day.” First, it is used too much and too automatically. Second, it does not refer to a 24-hour period or to daylight. Third, it adds an air of inevitability to an argument, and usually to an argument that is bereft of evidence. I watched Barry Levinson’s okay enervated documentary on celebrity and politics, and at on point he “argued” that, at the end of the day, television was a terrible development because it blurred politics and entertainment. He didn’t elaborate on the argument, but “at the end of the day” added a whiff of authority and inevitability to his weary opinion. Moreover, the episodes of “The Honeymooners” alone (not to mention other crucial classics) are well worth the decline of American politics, which were bound to decline anyway. –As if politics needed the assistance of TV to disintegrate! Please.
I suggest a replacement phrase, chiefly to reawaken napping speakers and listeners: “At the beginning of the night.” “At the beginning of the night, Congress may experience increasing darkness,” and now we must tip the cap in the direction of George Carlin’s spirit and of Carlin’s embodiment of an absurdist weatherperson. The Hippie-Dippy weatherman.
In the meantime, any time you hear anyone on TV or the radio utter the phrase “at the end of the day,” turn off the broadcasting instrument for a minimum of 60 seconds.