There are many clichés that are overused. In fact, I guess most are or they wouldn't be clichés, right? But there is one that has sneaked into our vernacular over the last couple of years that is so insidious, it is almost impossible to go 24 hours without hearing it once.
"At the end of the day. . ."
It means "ultimately," or "finally." It has replaced "when all is said and done" and "all things considered." Oh, and did I say once a day? Only if you don't turn on the TV, radio or mingle with actual people. This ubiquitous phrase is uttered by just about everybody from the uninformed to the stupendously brilliant; from Republican to Democrat. Turn on FOX "News", CNN, MSNBC or CSPAN, and give it oh, say 20 minutes. If you haven't heard the phrase once, twice, maybe even more times, I'd be shocked. I heard Joe Biden on Face the Nation say it twice in the space of three sentences this morning!
I did a little research online, but haven't been able to find out where this phenomenon started. I did find references in Kipling and Hemingway, but you know what? In THOSE cases, they actually meant at the end of the day! Now, don't get offended if you use and like the phrase. This is my problem, not yours. The phrase is apparently here to stay, and I'm just going to have to get used to it. And at the end of the day (sigh), maybe I will.