When 100% isn't enough

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I originally started this in April 2008 but ironically didn't get round to posting it. So I was interested to see a recent article on the BBC site covering a similar topic.

Anyone else getting fed up with the increasingly generalised mathematical innumeracy?
It's not enough to give merely 100% anymore. Nope, you've got to give 110%. Of course, this will inevitably lead to inflation, since once everyone is giving 110% then winners will quite clearly have to give more than 110%. Presumably 110% of 110% ie 121%. I wonder if they will even get this right?

I'm also getting fed up with hearing how people have "done fantastic". Who is Fantastic and why was he or she done? 

It's a pity more people don't put 110% into their English lessons. I can forgive sportsmen who were probably busy giving 110% in the under-12's but it has now spread into general usage.

Of course, I didn't give 100% to this posting, it disappeared off the bottom of my unfinished posts screen. But then almost a year later the BBC has picked up on the same meme, with the advantage of both tracking down the origins, purported to be Torville and Dean, and getting some interesting comments to boot. I think my original posting was also inspired by the boardroom protestations of floundering Apprentice candidates (last year's crop), although I have also observed the gradual inflation of hyperbole in a professional setting. The danger is that we are going to run out of words for the truly exceptional.

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This page contains a single entry by David published on May 5, 2009 6:33 PM.

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