(It’s not Rocket Science / It’s not Brain Surgery are annoying business terms and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
It’s not Rocket Science / It’s not Brain Surgery
We combined these two because their meanings are identical, and they’re often interchanged.)
Meant to infer some task or thing is relatively easy to complete or understand (when compared to rocket science or brain surgery), both sayings are now so overused and dated you often feel sorry for those in your office who utter them.
Do they think these hack phrases make them sound hip or smart? Probably. Of course, to the rest of us, they come across as out-of-touch goofballs repeating an annoying phrase that was never hip; never smart.
Both it’s not rocket science and it’s not brain surgery are equally annoying; though the most annoying use of these occurs when the clueless jokester at your company combines them into one of two possible phrases.
While both possible combinations of these are decades old and no longer funny, they (like the original phrases) simply will not go away. The combinations are the dreaded “it’s not rocket surgery” and the less popular “it’s not brain science.”
Both are usually followed by a knowing grin and chuckle from the user – as if he just said something so original and clever that everyone will laugh and take note of this exact day and this exact time.
He imagines his coworkers will gather years from now and one of them will say, “Do you remember that time Dick said, ‘It’s not rocket surgery’? It still makes me smile. What a clever man Dick is – we’re lucky to have him on the team.”
The reality, of course, is everyone is annoyed by most everything Dick says; therefore, they rarely retain any words he speaks for more than a few seconds.
Our advice? Don’t be a Dick.
Replacement phrases: No replacement needed; you’re not funny or original.
See also: Blocking and Tackling
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon