When the fuck did people stop knowing how to use percentages?
X-Factor this year had Robbie Williams giving "111%", The Runner up giving "115" & "116" percent on regular occasions. On Talk shows people constantly say they are going to give "110%" to sort their lives out, or that they are "136%" sure that it is not their baby, or whatever.
Can everyone PLEASE stop being so God damn stupid. It's embarrassing.
I mean, there has always been a small portion of sports commentators and agents who would use that "I want you to give 110%" Bullshit. But now it seems EVERYONE is always giving more than the maximum percentage possible! It is idiotic and totally self-devaluing.
Let me clear this up.
You can only give/achieve 100 percent of your potential. You can not, under any circumstances, achieve more than 100% or your potential. It's not possible.
Lets break down the word here, Sesame Street style, to make it easier to understand.
"Per - Cent"
"Per - 100"
So you can only get 100 per 100... see?
If there were 100 questions on a test. You can only get 100 answers right.
If there were 100 toys in a room scattered over the floor. You could only pick 100 toys up.
If you go out and perform, and give it your all. You have given 100%. That is the best you can ever do.
That's 100% of the potential achieved.
If indeed you go out on stage, or on the football pitch, and you play even BETTER than last time... which you SWORE was 100%, then either last time you didn't really give 100% (and you were lying), or you have simply improved... in which case, you haven't given any higher percentage of goodness... you have simply changed the parameters of your percentage.
This constant distortion of percentages is self defeating... because once you destroy 100% as the Absolute, then every point above it will wear out it's power. 110% isn't good enough once you've given 111% in a performance... And god forbid you should just go out and give 100%, because that's more like 90% really... isn't it?
Perhaps we should have 360 be the top, and then each degree of a pie-chart would be a percentage? In fact, eventually 1000% will become the top, and then everyone achieving percentages in the hundreds will be considered slackers.
I blame competition programs such as X-Factor etc for this growth in public stupidity. People being exposed to maths distortion on a weekly basis by television stars is detrimental to the national IQ. It's ridiculous and anyone I hear doing it in future, will instantly lose 100% respect from me.
Post Script Note: The only time a percentage higher than 100 can EVER be used, is if you are using it to demonstrate how much better you are performing against a target that was set for you. Because 100% of that Target does not necessarily represent 100% of what is achievable.