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rocket surgery

rocket surgery n. a task requiring intelligence or higher education; a difficult undertaking. Editorial Note: Often used jocularly in negative constructions similar to “It’s not rocket surgery.” Etymological Note: A blend of rocket science and brain surgery. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  • Some time between 1994 and 2005, Steve Krug used the phrase in his great book “Don’t Make Me Think”, which is where I picked it up.

  • I started says this 3 years ago when talking about Customer Service people and how they can screw even the most simple task.. Not knowing it was use before…. Who knew?

  • I started saying this some years back, and, thinking I might somehow make my billions writing comedy, I did a web search for it to see if anyone had used it. If I recall, nothing came up. I’m sure I wasn’t quite the maverick in coming up with the term and it just hadn’t spread to the web in those days, but I still half-joking swear to my web design students, when I make them read Steve Krug’s book, that I at least comorbidly came up with the phrase “it’s not rocket surgery” around 1999-2002. 🙂

  • YUCK, reminds me of guesstimate, another one I detest.  It’s rocket science or brain surgery.  Or estimate!  Just makes you look dumb or pretentious, neither of which are flattering.

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