Business speak – 110% Outside the box

Before you read on, I must profess I am not an expert in grammar or that punctuation they are have now days. You know, that stuff you read about on the internet and things. But…

I have had the misfortune today to be sat in a hotel bar, working (not drinking.)


As if working (not drinking) in a bar of any description was not bad enough, I had the double misfortune of listening to some power mad business man rambling on to one of his minions about their company shortcomings and shortgoings (shame there is not such a word.)


Here are a few of the things he said:

‘I need you to give 110%.’ – Now I acknowledge this exists as a number but there are multiple problems with this sentence. Firstly, that in the realms of human endeavour there can be more than 100% of anything. Secondly that you should try and quantify something as immeasurable as ‘effort’ into a number. Thirdly, 110% of what? 50?

Is 55 what the man was really after?


He went on to ask his colleague to ‘Think outside the box.’

His colleague was not in a box. The only people I have ever seen in a box are dead people, magician’s assistants and my mate Karl who once hurled himself down a flight of stairs inside an empty washing machine box, to see if it would hurt.

It did.

Why assume his colleague was thinking inside one in the first place. Karl was. He was probably thinking something like ‘AAAAARRRGGGHHHH! This hurts.’ I mainly laughed outside of the box and thought I was glad I was not inside it.

Though I did have to give it a try after. 

At times when his colleague was providing him with some box free thinking, he would answer his mobile phone mid-sentence and then call whoever was on the other end ‘buddy’ with a slight American accent. Was he being called by Americans and trying to emulate their friendliness and cadence? Had he told a potential client he was American in order to win a large transatlantic contract with a multi conglomerate box manufacturer? Was the person who telephoned called Buddy AND Dave, the two names he used whilst he was on the phone?


When he was talking he began lots of sentences with ‘obviously’ too. A redundant word. I mean, if it is obvious, why say it? 


He was ‘going forward’ quite a bit too. Going backwards or sideways was not an option with this man. Or up. And he did not mention the velocity of travel either, or which way he was facing. I mean, one man’s forward can be another man’s backwards.

He proclaimed ‘to be honest’ in front of some of the things he said. The rest, OBVIOUSLY lies.

But the one that got me the most (and I am not flawless in my command of the English language. I have been known to begin a sentence with but, or forget to close brackets…. the worse thing he said, most often repeated was;

‘with regards to’

What’s wrong with ‘about’? Eh?








3 thoughts on “Business speak – 110% Outside the box

  1. annewilldunbarblog 17/01/2015 / 12:41 am

    Anger builds a fire
    Fury feeds the flames
    Judgement is a liar
    It will crucify your name.

    (Don’t forget to breath my friend.)

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