Two Tips On (Not) Sounding Stupid

Two things that, for some reason, I've heard or read a LOT in the past couple weeks. Two things that are widely over-used and very incorrect. Two things I hope you'll learn to avoid saying, because they make you sound stupid. Two things that make me ignore everything else a speaker has to say, because these popular errors do a lot to remove a speaker's credibility.

1. Trying or giving anything more than 100%. Say this and you not only are a liar, but you've proven that you are terrible at math and not thinking about what you're really saying. Do the math. You can't have more than 100% of anything, because 100% is all of it. It's impossible to give 110%, so don't say that to someone if you want them to have more confidence in your abilities. You might as well come out and say "2+2=17".

2. Saying "it's in our company's / corporation's / brand's DNA". Absolutely not. Companies, corporations and brands do not, nor will they ever, have DNA. Claiming that anything is part of your organization's DNA shows that you don't understand what DNA is, and that you are spewing meaningless gibberish. Do your homework before you ape something that sounds scientific, or you'll look like a fool. What you're talking about are ideas, not genetic information. It's likely that, if you're referring to anything at all, it's a "meme" or "meme-complex". Have some respect for science; try not to butcher it just to feel like you sound important.