‘Perfect’ is Too… Well… | Sounds Right

This is clearly subjective, but some words really sound like the thing they describe (personal favorites: puffin; bulbous; fidgeting). Do you have an example of such a word (or, alternatively, of a word that sounds like the exact opposite of what it refers to)? What do you think creates this effect?

There’s something about the word ‘perfect’ that’s… perfect. Explains why I don’t like the word.

It could be due to the pretentiousness of the word and/or its meaning: 

Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.

Many of us strive to be ‘ideal’, ‘model’ citizens of society, ‘without fault’. To live the American dream is to work hard and eventually be compensated with the fruits of our labor, the ‘quintessential’, ‘exemplary’, ‘perfect’ life.

Perfect is a dangerous word, because those who strive for perfection usually wind up in a dead end. Perfection doesn’t make anyone feel better, or any situation better than it was. We’re taught to be the ‘perfect lover’, the ‘perfect mother’ ‘perfect wife/husband’, ‘perfect student’, ‘perfect friend’, ‘perfect employee’, etc.

To be perfect is to be flawless, which is impossible. Nothing is without flaw and no one is without fault. It takes fault and flaw to learn and grow as a person, to get to places we may (or may not) get to.

We’re not always taught to simply work to the best of our abilities, to work on improving skills we already have as well as learn new ones. We don’t have to know everything or pretend we do. And we don’t have to like or do things to impress people who weren’t and may never be impressed from the beginning.

To me, perfection is poison; when it comes to creating, I come to a stop. The first thing that comes to mind is: how are other people going to receive this? Are they going to look for spelling and grammatical errors? Am I gonna mess up the flow of this? Am I gonna get the characterization wrong? Is this too much description?

Yes, creating anything provides to opportunity to fail, proofread, and revise. I don’t want to be a perfectionist, but I am. This post won’t be perfect, but that’s okay. I’m not perfect, nor is any other writer out there, published or not. 

And, to be ‘perfectly’ honest, the damn word should be abolished from the dictionary as well as our vocabulary, and the world shall be, in the words of Mary Poppins, “practically perfect in every way.”


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