The death of 100%

Posted on June 2, 2009 

The death of 100%

Before the days of linguistic inflation, 100% was considered enough. But no longer, says Chris Bowlby, in a personal reflection on how language has changed.

Promising to give 110% became the norm in post-match interviews. It was a useful follow-up after, depending on the result, you’d explained why you were “over the moon” or “sick as a parrot”.

But why 110% exactly? Perhaps it was all those players’ and managers’ agents – the Mr Ten Per Cents – who made sure there was 100% for their clients plus 10% for them.

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