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I really struggled to find any instance of this phrase online; it’s difficult to search. Does it have a comma (i.e. “it’s ___, is what it is!”)? How would you write this verbal colloquialism down?

(The space is meant to indicate a word. For instance, the sentence might be “it’s art is what it is!”, where the meaning of the sentence is basically ‘it’s art’ with the rest added for emphasis. I’m having trouble remembering any specific instances of it, but here’s a made-up dialogue that illustrates its use: 1: “Blow up the ship? That’s crazy.” 2: “It’s suicide is what it is!”)

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    I'm confused by the blank space between "it's" and the rest of the phrase. Are you asking about a different phrase than, "It is what it is"? Such as, "That's life; it is what it is."
    – tblue
    Oct 12 '19 at 18:51
  • Sorry, that’s meant to indicate a word. For instance, the sentence might be “it’s art is what it is!”, where the meaning of the sentence is basically ‘it’s art’ with the rest added for emphasis. I’m having trouble remembering any specific instances of it, but here’s a made-up dialogue that illustrates its use: 1: “Blow up the ship? That’s crazy.” 2: “It’s suicide is what it is!” Oct 12 '19 at 18:54
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    The answer to your question is: No. There's no standard syntax for an incorrect construct. It's suicide, that's what it is. There's no reason to EVER say. It is suicide is what it is. At best it's redundant. At worst, it's just bad.
    – David M
    Oct 12 '19 at 20:19
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    The syntax is covered by the literature on Wh-Cleft Sentences, of which this is an example. Oct 12 '19 at 20:32
  • Here's the real point: This is spoken English, not written English.
    – Lambie
    Mar 10 '20 at 21:50
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I see what you mean about getting the desired phrase separated from the other one. Once you gave the example, I remembered the way I've heard that form most often and got some hits.

Customs Reauthorization: Strengthening U.S. Economic Interests and Security ... By United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Finance

...“You are unfortunately here also during vote-a-rama day on the budget resolution, which is just nuts, is what it is.”

Once Upon a Time Traveler: The Reluctant Tourist and the Hitchhiker By Joshua Light

“Well, a child giant would be about the size of a man, and those nephlings had to grow up too. I’m sure it’s just a precaution.”

“This is nuts, is what it is.”

In incredulous reactions, perhaps an exclamation point?

"Turning this cucumber into a missile is cool!"

"Nuts! is what it is."

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  • @Killing Time - Thanks for the edit. When TinyURLs were outlawed, I couldn't find how to do it. Happen to have a how-to link?
    – tblue
    Oct 12 '19 at 20:04
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    The markup help page has a section on link formatting. Oct 12 '19 at 20:30

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