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Please Give This Post 110% of Your Attention, If You Have the Bandwidth

This list of the "50 office-speak phrases you love to hate" is a great compilation of BBC readers just bitching about the dumb-ass business lingo they hate.  It includes some of my biggest pet peeves, but comment #31 was my favorite:

"The expression that drives me nuts is 110%, usually said to express passion/commitment/support by people who are not very good at maths. This has created something of a cliche-inflation, where people are now saying 120%, 200%, or if you are really REALLY committed, 500%. I remember once the then-chancellor Gordon Brown saying he was 101% behind Tony Blair, to which people reacted 'What? Only 101?'"

Kelly and I were totally talking about this last Monday during American Gladiators, because one of the contenders mentioned that she was giving 110% and we were all, no you're not, sorry.  (The whole thing reminds me of the arms race that is the razor industry right now: first they were bragging that razors had three blades, then four; now, I think we're up to five.  By the time I have a daughter who's old enough to shave her legs, razors will probably have a minimum of 1100 blades and I will have to teach her how to go slowly enough to avoid accidental amputation.)

Anyway, I decided then to start saying "I'm going to give it 128%" whenever I feel like providing a ludicrous demonstration of my intended level of effort on something.   I have since used it twice: once to describe my efforts at our softball game, and once at karaoke to characterize my dedication to singing B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" adequately. Both times everyone stared at me and tried to figure out if I was mocking the "110%" people, or if I was actually one of them, but a really, really precise one.


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i love this post for some many reasons but most of all, i love it because you mentioned singing hypnotize at karaoke. i wish i lived near you so i could be your friend in real life.
that is all.

James Buchanan

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At first I hated this term, but I find so many uses for it now.

Also, I'm watching Saved by the Bell, and it's the one where they're at the mall trying to get U2 tickets. Screech is such a moron!


I think you need to take an organic approach to this challenge. Just kidding.


What about "I know I said you could have until Friday with the report, but we really need it Wednesday morning, not to MOVE THE GOALPOSTS ON YOU"

Don't get me started on razors...
(and even though I'm not a fan of MadTV)

Random Guy

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