People have long had an impulse to hyperbolize the extent to which they agree with someone who has said something that seems true.
“Just so!” some say.
“Spot on!” some British say.
“I couldn’t agree more!” is a traditional go-to.
These days there’s a new one: “A hundred percent!”
As in, I say, “Wrigley Field has been transformed by its rapacious owners from a beautiful old baseball park into a noisy, tacky, commercial amusement park, so that going to games now is damned near intolerable—not to mention unaffordable—to anyone who ever knew what was good about it in the first place.”
And the person I’m gassing on to says, “Oh, a hundred percent!”
And then adds, “But, all that amusement park money did allow the Cubs to buy the kinds of players that made us playoff contenders.”
So, do they really agree with me a hundred percent? Or do they only really agree with me about forty-eight percent? As in, they agree that ideally the once iconic Wrigley scoreboard wouldn’t be dwarfed by a big-screen wanker TV brought to you by “Wintrust.” But they think you’re a bit of a pipsqueak moralist to say so.
A friend the other day had something to say on text, about my recent attack on the Ryder Cup. I read his argument, and wrote back, “Fifty percent!” And then I acknowledged the points he’d made on the sane side of the ledger, and then listed an equal number in the fallacious column.
I mean, if we’re going to go with percentages here—let’s use all one hundred numbers, shall we?
Maybe even make the extra effort, and use a hundred and ten.