C’est des choses qui arrivent.

C’est des choses qui arrivent.

say day shohz kee aa-REEV. Click below to hear this.

It’s just one of those things.

Now that’s about as vague as a statement can be! One of which things? What are these things?

The French explains all…sort of! Literally, it means It’s among the things that happen. Oh, well, now I understand everything! Things happen all the time! What things?

This is the sort of thing for which there is no “why”. Things just happen, with no rhyme nor reason. There are bumper stickers that proclaim this truth, in less polite language.

Of course, if you wanted to, you could turn this into a theological debate. Predestination or self-determination? A “clockmaker” God or a God who puts commas where we tend to put periods?

Or you can just ignore the deep meanings and adopt this as one of those clichés that people toss around when commenting on events.

If that’s your plan, you do need to learn to say it correctly. One shoulder has to rise, your head has to cock to one side as if you wanted to touch your ear to your shoulder, and the corners of your mouth must turn down. All of these gestures, combined, transmit the hidden message: “Well, what to expect me to do about it? It is what it is.” Pragmatic and fatalistic, whether you lost a book or have a deadly disease. If you don’t see it as the end of the world, you are entitled to use this expression. Whatever.

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