Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Not Outside That Stupid Box!

I enjoy a good glass of beer. So I was really excited to see the premier of the new Discovery Channel show “Brew Masters.”

Husband and I hunkered down with the remote and...

The opening credits started. Ooooohhh look, shiny copper things! Hops! People walking! (We’re easily impressed.)

But then, right in the opening credits, they had to go and use the phrase “outside the box.” As in, “I wasn’t satisfied with the traditional beers on the market, so I decided to think outside the box.”

I grimaced. Husband shuddered.

We watched about 5 minutes and changed the channel to something more enlightening:

This is the only reason I know what a Snooki is

I hate the phrase “outside the box.” It is trite, vague, and condescending. He could’ve said “I decided to try something different,” or “I thought I’d start something new.”

Outside the box - what the hell does that imply?

I know conventional wisdom claims it means that, if you’re “inside the box,” you’re just thinking of or accepting current norms. You need to try something new. But really, why can’t you just say that? You don’t need a “catchphrase” to say, “We need to try something different.”

Furthermore, implying you’re inside the box is also an indirect way of saying “I think you’re a mime.” And who wants that?

I know it’s you...

Now, let’s tackle being “outside of the box.” Yes, I know it’s just a way of saying you are being innovative, and thinking of new solutions for old problems. But again, why can’t you just say that? You don’t need a “catchphrase” to say “That was a great idea! We haven’t tried that before!”

Furthermore, if it is implied that you are “outside the box,” then where exactly are you? Uncharted territory? The 4th dimension? No. Most likely you are in your living room, or maybe the garage or the post office.

You are probably not here

Honestly, I think catchphrases like this are designed only for filler in lackluster resumes and insipid powerpoint presentations. I know, this is kind of a cruel thing to say.

I guess I’m just not thinking “outside the box.” No wait, I’m actually just ranting on about a stupid catchphrase. Either way.