It seems I can turn nowhere without hearing the phrase “At the end of the day“. I don’t know if this is a recent banality or if I’ve just become aware of it. It’s being used in newspapers, magazines, sportscasts, newscasts, talk radio and interviews. Most frequently it appears to be a substitute for “ultimately”, as in “At the end of the day, what really concerns me most is how we interact with our fans…” (LA Times) or “But at the end of the day they were just a pop band.” (Independent)
Usually the use of the phrase is superfluous. In the examples below the cliche can be removed without effecting the meanings of the statements:
- “It does not surprise me… at the end of the day that some of his teachings seem to go unheeded.” (Kansas City Star)
- “That may have been a contributing factor, but at the end of the day, this is probably more about leadership.” (CBSNews)
- “At the end of the day, the financial institutions need to settle with each other.” (BankofCanada)
This expression is spreading like wildfire; my recommendation, at the end of the day, is to ban it!