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[personal profile] shaupt
Is the perfect knife also a spoon? Would being unsuitable for use as a spoon make a knife less perfect? For that matter, is perfection a variable or a binary characteristic? Is a thing either "perfect" or "not perfect", or can it be "more perfect" and "less perfect"?

So if it makes a poor spoon, does that alter a knife's perfection? What if the knife serves passably as a screwdriver, which is sort of a more reasonable thing to expect of a blade? It seems as though "perfect" is an ass-pain of a word, at least as it's used in English.

Etymologically "perfect" merely means "completed", as in, "I could add a cup-holder, I suppose, but I'm finished with what I set out to make". That suggests perfection is a trait limited to artifice...since using it to describe nature would require some kind of preternatural insight. If I call a butterfly "perfect", I'm implying I have some godly sense of what an insect ought to be, and remaining a pupa ain't it.

That would make an oxymoron of "perfect mistake" or any other combination with a thing unintended, since how can you say that you've completed a thing that was never planned? For that matter, what would "a perfect plan" entail? Is a plan finished before its intended action is accomplished? If so, then the perfect plan could have catastrophic consequences and yet still be perfect.

Ugh, it's a terrible word. It's like a prank inserted into the language by gremlins.
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