Your Idea—It Doesn’t Stink—Too Much

Posted by on Oct 26, 2010 | No Comments

Today I’d like to enlist you in my personal crusade to eradicate an annoying phrase from the American lexicon. Have you ever suggested an idea to someone only to have them give you the lukewarm response, “That’s not a bad idea.”

“That’s not a bad idea?” What do they mean? That your idea doesn’t exactly stink? 

Imagine going to a restaurant with close friends and being served a fine meal. The chef comes out and asks your party, “How was everything tonight?”

Can you imagine yourself telling the chef, “That wasn’t a bad meal…”? Of course you wouldn’t. If you insulted him with such a lackadaisical review he’d smile, go back into the kitchen, spit in your coffee and then sneeze on your dessert.

So why do we respond to good ideas from coworkers, friends, or family with, “That’s not a bad idea”? Why don’t we just say, “Great idea,” “That’s awesome,” or, “”You’re so smart that I can’t understand why you condescend to associate with me.” Okay, maybe the last option is a little over the top. But I’d rather encourage good ideas from people rather than giving them a tepid response like, “That’s not a bad idea.”

P7012650 If you’re not on board with my personal crusade to eradicate, “That’s not a bad idea” from our culture then at least be consistent. Next time you’re dining out and the chef comes out and asks how the meal was tell him, “That wasn’t a bad meal.” Then look for spittle on the cheesecake.


  1. Connie Mace
    October 26, 2010

    Ha! I’m on board for this. It’s a GREAT idea 🙂

  2. Michael Duncan
    February 26, 2012

    You caught me in the net as well! God bless. 🙂

    • Gigi Murfitt
      February 26, 2012

      Dennis, that blog was really a great idea! I’m on it! Gigi

  3. jimrubart
    February 29, 2012

    Revising the way I say that isn’t a bad idea …

  4. Kathleen Freeman
    March 2, 2012

    Great blog, Dennis! I gotta wonder why a guy who writes like that would condescend to speak with me. ; )

    • Dennis
      March 6, 2012

      I’ve read your stuff, Kathleen. You’re no slouch!