Dear X-Factor Contestants, you cannot give more than 100% effort! Blog Discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's "Dear X-Factor Contestants, you cannot give more than 100% effort!" blog. Please read the blog first, as the discussion follows it.


  • Hanxx
    Hanxx Posts: 315 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    You're not alone, that's one of the things that really gets on my nerves too. I'm pretty sure that 'giving more than 100%' was originally an American thing. Unfortunately, like a lot of other things, it made it's way over to us and looks like it's here to stay.

    I received quite a good email on this subject the other day, and it went into detail about what giving over 100% actually equates to. I'm not able to post a copy here though. The language was far too colourful.
  • Me too Martin, you're not on your own being annoyed by this nonsense! :mad: Whenever I hear an example of this being spouted on TV I just roll my eyes and despair - it's even a running joke with my wife who looks for my reaction every time!

    As a maths graduate this sort of sloppy use of maths in everyday English drives me mad. As you point out it is impossible to give more than 100% effort, since 100% is by definition the maximum you can give. Of course figures of more than 100% make sense in other contexts (e.g. a company's profits rising by 150% say) but not where 100% represents an absolute limit.

    It's a sad example of innumeracy that is very common - and not just among X-factor contestants!
  • I'm with you all on this one.
    Only the other week I was discussing this with my 10 year old lad and one of his mates. My explanation though was that the % symbol equated to a 1 and two zeros, therefore 100 is the maximum you can achieve!
    I've had that one in my brain for ages, is this where the % symbol originates from, or am I too talking rubbish?:confused:
  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,796 Forumite
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    You watch the X Factor? :shocked: I thought better of you!

    I noticed the same comments and they really grated on me. That's why Ray is going home next week. ;)
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • faineant
    faineant Posts: 107 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I agree with the irritation but struggle to see the relevance to money saving. Should we just kill this thread now?
    If money saving starts to involve irritation or frustration the fine line between thrift and greed should be examined.
  • Spot on - this irks me as much as "New and Improved". It is one or the other!
  • nelly_2
    nelly_2 Posts: 17,863 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
    110% correct mate

    well..... someone had to say it :)
  • Is now a good time to say that obviously the McDonald Brothers are giving 100% ;)
  • I agree entirely - it's utter nonsense. However, you do expect this sort of drivel on shows like The X Factor, but it's worse when you hear it in actual interviews for real jobs.

    "We expect 150% from our employees".

    Translation: We have unreasonable expectations of our subordinates. You'll never get a bonus, pay rise or promotion because you'll never achieve the outlandish high goals we set you. You'll be barked at on a daily basis for not being superhuman and will probably burn out within 12 months which is why we do these recruitment drives every year (or what The X Factor calls a "new series").

    And here's another gem...

    "We like to work hard and play hard".

    Translation: You'll be expected to work 12 hours a day, possibly 6 days a week, living on a cocktail of Pro Plus and coc@ine just to survive.

    People who aren't t*ssers need not apply.
  • What on earth is 'Arithmetical baloney' Martin?

    Baloney is a rather unpleasant sausage, (chunks of white fat suspended in spam) Are you mentally using sausages instead of fingers to count with? To quote your article, 'it doesn’t make any sense; we’re trading in the use of mathematics for nonsense'?

    Could it be that you are using the word 'to compare devalued baloney sausage meat to devalued maths. If so, what a refreshingly novel comparison. Messing around with the English language like that made Shakespeare great. I suspect, however, you use ‘baloney’ because it’s a lazy devalued term you can slap-in without thinking.

    In comparison, '210%' is a beautifully original term. Perhaps, youngsters play with terms like 210%, because they are so comfortable with the language of maths, that they can enjoy subverting it.

    210% was used in spontaneous conversation. Compare that to a blog writer who has plenty of time to consider what he writes, but in a few lines, slaps-in terms like "rabid pedant" (here readers stop reading to wonder if a dying rabid animal has enough problems to deal with without being accused of pedantry?) & "one of my major bugbears" (readers again stop reading, to wonder how many minor areas of infectious lice infest Martin's body?)

    Do you think that the increasing overuse of terms like 'rabid' & 'bugbear' just adds 'baloney' to the English language? (& by 'baloney', I'm visualising chunks of bland fat suspended in cheap spam) -That said, I'd rate your site with a mark of 211%-
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