I remember the first time I heard this phrase, in a job interview
about three years ago. I had the reputation for being an outspoken iconoclast
around those parts, so one of the interviewers, a future corporate asskisser
type, asked me if I "thought outside the box". I think I muttered something like "Excuse me?", but what I was thinking was "What box? What the fuck are
you talking about?" I didn’t get the job, which is good, since I didn’t have to work under idiots who use phrases like "Thinking outside the box".
(for what I can’t remember – effective advertising
, eh?) which featured the phrase prominently debuted not to long afterwards, which I think helped drive it from buzzword
. I recall using it (sarcastically, of course) in class while I was lecturing on Oedipus Rex
was able to outwit the Sphinx
when no one else could because Oedipus "thought outside the box". Big laugh, and it drove the point home. I love moments like those.