(Beat a Dead Horse is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
Beat a Dead Horse
In the politically-correct world we live – one where every word you use can get twisted by social justice warriors – it seems this saying might get you into trouble with your local PETA chapter.
Although we never seem to find ourselves jumping into the “cancel culture” mentality, beat a dead horse is more than outdated and annoying; it’s morbid. Moreover, it conjures up an image that’s cruel and disgusting.
We understand the user is not genuinely trying to build a picture in your mind of someone repeatedly striking a deceased equine – they’re not cruel and disgusting, just oblivious to the words and phrases spewing from that hole below their nose.
If you feel it’s okay to warn someone, “Let’s not beat a dead horse,” you should realize you’re telling them it’s fine to beat a live horse.
Can we agree that anyone beating live horses is a sadistic freak deserving of the harshest punishment available by law? Great; now let’s figure out what the annoying manager using this phrase really means.
Beat a dead horse is most often used to tell someone they should stop repeating the same request, complaint, mantra, question, or opinion. That is, the horse you were trying to kill with your club is now dead; therefore, you can stop beating it. The additional blows to the carcass are redundant.
Simply put, your message/proposal/question has been heard; it’s been ignored or rejected; move on.
Replacement phrases: Stop; Move on
See also: Drink/Drank the Kool-Aid
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon