move the needle


improve performance

TRANSLATION

move the needle = eine meßbare Auswirkung erzeugen

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Can Businesses MOVE THE NEEDLE on Human Rights?”

Bruce Watson - Business for Social Responsibility

Did you
know?

move the needle
idiom, metaphor

- to make a change that is noticeable, to alter or modify something so that the effect of your action is measurable. Most often, move the needle is used in a positive sense, meaning to make progress toward a goal.

The Grammarist


PHRASE ORIGIN

The expression “move the needle” became popular in a figurative sense from the 1980s and is one of many phrases that began as business jargon.

The image is of the indicator needle on a gauge, or meter, or speedometer, moving in response to stimuli.


MOVING THE NEEDLE UPWARDS

Despite serious challenges ahead, it doesn’t harm to look on the bright side.

In his book, “Enlightenment Now: The case for reason, science, humanism, and progress”, Steven Pinker argues that the world is not, in fact, getting worse. In fact, Pinker argues, things are getting better and better (if not in every way, at least in many important ways that are often overlooked). And Pinker reviews reams of data to back up that claim, dazzling the reader with graph after graph showing steady increases in life’s good things, and decreases in the bad things.

1. POVERTY
The percentage of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has plummeted since 1950. Over 50 percent of the world’s population was living in poverty in 1950. Today that number is less than 10 percent.

2. LITERACY
The percentage of the world’s population who can read has skyrocketed in that same period. Whereas 36 percent of the world’s population was literate in 1950, by 2010 that had jumped to 83 percent.

3. MURDER
Homicides and deaths in war have been decreasing for centuries. Between 1300 and 1500, Englishmen were murdered at an annual rate of about 20 per 100,000 and Italians were killing other Italians at an annual rate of 70 per 100,000. The comparable numbers for 2017: 1.0 in England and 0.7 in the formerly violent Italy. So, in the good old days, you were 20 times more likely to be murdered in England and 100 times more likely to be murdered in Italy.

4. TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
Motor vehicle deaths are dropping. Despite the new hazards offered by people texting while driving, vehicle deaths have been dropping for decades, and will probably continue to drop as new cars increasingly use artificial intelligence to protect their distracted drivers.

5. LIFE EXPECTANCY
Life expectancy has been rising. Life expectancy has risen 20 years over the last half-century. This is due to decreasing death rates from most classes of natural and artificial causes (like car accidents and murders). Women dying in childbirth and children dying before age 5 used to be commonplace but both have plummeted to near zero in first world countries, and there is a similar downward trend in developing countries.

"The more you act out that something is good, the better it gets." (Jordan Peterson in conversation with Lex Fridman)


SYNONYMS

- to augment or make something greater or better:

accelerate, accentuate, add flesh to, amplify, amp up, augment, balloon, beef up, bolster (up), boost (up), brighten (up), bring up to date, brush up, buck up, build (up), bump (up), buoy (up), buttress, cement, crank up, develop, double, drive (up), enhance, elevate, energise, enlarge (on), enrich, escalate, evolve, expand (on, upon), extend, firm up, flesh out, fortify, foster, freshen (up), galvanise, get bigger (higher, larger, stronger), give a boost to, give a face-lift (substance to, weight to), grow (larger, quickly, rapidly), hasten, highlight, hot up, hype, improve (on), increase, increase in scope (in size, in value), intensify, invigorate, lend more weight to, magnify, make a big thing out of, make bigger (greater, larger, richer, stronger), maximise, modernise, MOVE THE NEEDLE (upwards), multiply, mushroom, optimise, perfect, polish, promote, push forward, put finishing touches on (flesh on), put flesh on the bones of, ramp up, raise in value, ratchet up, renew, revitalise, scale up, send through the roof, shift upward, smarten up, soup up, speed up, spruce up, spur (on), step up, stoke, strengthen, supercharge, supersize, support, sweeten, tick upward, tone up, top/touch up, triple, turbocharge, underline, underpin, underscore, update, upgrade, uplift, upraise, uprate, upscale, uptick


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“Team spirit is much better now, we really MOVED THE NEEDLE with those coaching sessions?”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

and,

Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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