How many times have you heard the phrase “I will give my 101%” or “You can count on a 120% effort for this project” and think its a good thing? It is becoming one of my pet peeves because people are getting more stupid each time that escape their mouths.

The word percent comes from the root word “per centum” which literally translates to “by the hundred”. Nowadays it is taken as “a portion of the whole” where whole is pegged at 100. When it comes to effort, there is no such thing as going over the top. It is just plain impossible. Some might argue that they just mean going the extra mile but in that case that person was squandering because they were not giving it their all during the other times that they are giving their 100%. They were lying when they said that they were giving their all during all those times so what makes you think they are not lying to you now?

In the fields that require physical exertion like blue-collar work or sports, it is not uncommon to hear that somebody has died because they went past their limits. These are the people who gave their 100%. These are the people who really gave their all and paid for it dearly. Keep that in mind the next time you hear somebody spouting a figure over 100%.