• Benkei
    3.3k
    In your example it's unhelpful. If you'd drop my favourite mug and I reply with "well, nobody's perfect" I trust it helps you to understand I value you more than my mug.
  • chatterbears
    416
    You really gave stupid examples, intent matters and context matters. You can't make a phrase sound bad by giving ludicrous examples of people using it to say absurd things like "forgive your rapist nobody is perfect" and whatnot lmao.Judaka

    There is no context where "nobody's perfect" is useful or helpful. Unless you're talking to 5-year olds, who think that some people may indeed be perfect (such as their parents), grown people do not believe anybody is perfect. Therefore, staying that 'nobody's perfect' is a red herring. Things that are useful can be consistently used throughout any example, similar to a moral principle.
  • chatterbears
    416
    In your example it's unhelpful. If you'd drop my favourite mug and I reply with "well, nobody's perfect" I trust it helps you to understand I value you more than my mug.Benkei

    In this case, you're recognizing that it was an accident. "Nobody's perfect" in your example is similar to saying "Don't worry about it." - I think the saying is still a bit silly. Because it is almost implying that I claimed I am perfect, and you're somehow enlightening me by letting me know I am not, and neither is anyone else. I also don't like the indirectness of the saying itself. Rather than saying, "Nobody's perfect", why not say what you actually mean? In your example, you could just tell me, "It's ok, I value you more than my mug" - In other examples, for the most common use, people say "Nobody's perfect" when they defend a wrongdoer. In essence, what they are saying is, "It's ok that they did something wrong, because we all do wrong things. Therefore, he doesn't need to take responsibility for what he has done."
  • chatterbears
    416
    I hate that one too, arghhhhh
  • Benkei
    3.3k
    In other examples, for the most common use, people say "Nobody's perfect" when they defend a wrongdoer. In essence, what they are saying is, "It's ok that they did something wrong, because we all do wrong things. Therefore, he doesn't need to take responsibility for what he has done."chatterbears

    That actually might be a cultural thing. Where I'm from (the Netherlands) we use it mostly when someone is being too hard on themselves. So here it's most often used to say "stop complaining and cheer up". Or even more common is when the person complaining recognises it in themselves and tells themselves "nobody's perfect" to accept failure and move on.
  • unenlightened
    5k
    Everybody's perfect.
  • Judaka
    683

    Things that are useful can be consistently used throughout any example, similar to a moral principle.chatterbears

    That's absurd, you have quite a way of thinking about things. "Nobody's perfect" can mean different things based on the context, it absolutely never means "I'm disputing your position that you're perfect" except when perfection was actually claimed but I am genuinely amazed that you've taken it that way.

    I do enjoy how you've tried to misrepresent the phrase as being a way of apologising for rapists and feeling as if since you did that there's no possible utility to the phrase anymore.

    It's shorthand for "don't worry about it" pretty much, just a different way of saying something which is unambiguously fine to say. You probably know that but I won't try to speculate how this could be a problem for you, I don't want to.
  • Wittgenstein
    329

    Ofcourse you can acknowledge your mistakes while accepting the fact that no one is perfect but the motivation to improve it comes from the desire to be perfect. Unless an artist is considering sucide or contemplating destroying his art work, we shouldn't tell him that no one is perfect. I was told this only once in my life when l was complaining about being slow and stupid but l didn't even need it then. I believe that perfection is possible, especially in mathematics and science.
  • Wittgenstein
    329

    I believe perfection is attainable and there is nothing wrong with striving for it. This discussion shouldn't be really important cause we should not rely on other people's feedback and neither should they rely on ours. We know ourselves quite well. If someone wants to get the noble prize in physics then he better be at the top of his game, otherwise it would be a ridiculous goal. Perfection is actually quite visible in our world, the bridge that won't fall and the building which stands despite the earthquake are perfectly made. Moral perfection on the other hand is a different story...
  • Coben
    1.5k
    There are instances where I would not like the use of that phrase, and instances where I would. There are artists who spend too much time beating themselves up. There are people who are too judgmental. Just because there are some situations where a phrase might be a problem does not mean we should get rid of it, since, such as in this case, there are instances where it is useful. I think the thinking around this is too binary, here. I am not saying it is used correctly all the time. I am saying that it can be and is. If I say I think it is a useful phrase that does not mean it has to be accepted as appropriate in all specific cases. I am an artist and have had contact with a lot of artists, from great and famous in a variety of fields, to merely professional, to never quite producing good art and so on. Some of these people expect inhuman perfection. Some people in the world cluck their tongues and judge others for not being Perfect in ways where that phrase is just peachy. I dislike when people want to clean up the language from phrases because in some instances those phrases are not appropriate. I am not talking about racist words, but phrases that may or may not fit. Language is

    Always

    Going to be able

    To
    Be
    Used
    Wrong.

    But if we start throwing away all phrases that can be used wrong

    We are going to be walking around with a weird internal Big Brother
  • Wittgenstein
    329

    It would be ridiculous to ban the usage of the phrase or throw them in the memory holes. On a side note, we need to bring back Orwellian terms in politics now more than ever. Julian Assange is an another victim of the Big Brother . So F*** censorship.
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    I believe perfection is attainable and there is nothing wrong with striving for it. This discussion shouldn't be really important cause we should not rely on other people's feedback and neither should they rely on ours. We know ourselves quite well. If someone wants to get the noble prize in physics then he better be at the top of his game, otherwise it would be a ridiculous goal. Perfection is actually quite visible in our world, the bridge that won't fall and the building which stands despite the earthquake are perfectly made. Moral perfection on the other hand is a different story...Wittgenstein

    I certainly agree that there is nothing wrong with striving for perfection, and that ‘perfectly achieved’ goals and aims are attainable, when considered within their limited context. A bridge that won’t fall or a building that succeeds in withstanding an earthquake can be considered ‘perfectly made’ for that limited purpose - but any claim that one has made a ‘perfect bridge’ or a ‘perfect building’ is false hubris, generally speaking. Being ‘at the top of one’s game’ sufficient for a Nobel prize in physics can be considered a ‘perfectly achieved’ goal within the context of current contenders, but it isn’t perfection, by any stretch.

    I guess what I’m saying is that the concept of ‘perfection’ as you describe it is relative, not absolute. Which is fine - so long as you’re aware of the shortfall.
  • chatterbears
    416
    That's absurd, you have quite a way of thinking about things. "Nobody's perfect" can mean different things based on the context, it absolutely never means "I'm disputing your position that you're perfect" except when perfection was actually claimed but I am genuinely amazed that you've taken it that way.Judaka

    The phrase carries a lot of baggage. Similar to the definition of God. Nobody would ever say, "When I say I believe in God, I am referring to this coffee cup." - If they were to say that, they can. But they are grossly ignoring the how the word 'God' is actually defined and/or used. You can claim that when people say "Nobody's perfect", it has a plethora of meanings to it, but you're ignoring the most common use of the term and appealing to the rare situation. I've been alive for quite a while, and have known people from 20+ different countries, watched countless movies and shows, and I have never once heard someone use "Nobody's perfect" in a way you are talking about. They have only ever used it as a way to defend a person who is being criticized.

    It's obvious that things can have different meanings, based on the context. But just as with the God example, sometimes it is a bit absurd to ignore how something or some phrase is used by almost everyone on the planet.

    I do enjoy how you've tried to misrepresent the phrase as being a way of apologising for rapists and feeling as if since you did that there's no possible utility to the phrase anymore.Judaka

    I've actually talked to Christians and other people who have said this very thing for murders and rapists. That nobody's perfect, and we shouldn't judge them, etc... The phrase doesn't have utility in the way you want it to. Just like the term 'God' doesn't have utility when I define 'God' as my coffee cup. I could use it that way if I want to, but it doesn't make much sense does it.
  • chatterbears
    416
    That actually might be a cultural thing. Where I'm from (the Netherlands) we use it mostly when someone is being too hard on themselves. So here it's most often used to say "stop complaining and cheer up". Or even more common is when the person complaining recognises it in themselves and tells themselves "nobody's perfect" to accept failure and move on.Benkei

    Where are you from? I talk to friends on a regular basis from all over the world. Netherlands, Norway, UK, Argentina, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, etc.... I've never heard anyone use the term this way. And as I said in a previous comment, I've watch plenty of movies/shows, and not even in the fictional character world, have I heard an actor/actress use the term 'Nobody's perfect', in any other way than defending someone.
  • Benkei
    3.3k


    Here's the Merriam Webster's example sentence: Yes, you made a mistake, but it's okay; nobody's perfect.

    That's how I hear it often. The shift to monologue might be peculair with my surroundings, I don't know. Or me projecting this on others. Don't know. In any case, the first version definitely seems to be in use also in the English speaking world.

    Oxford: Well I'm sorry—but nobody's perfect (= used when someone has criticized you).

    This is much closer to how you seem to hear it regularly. I suspect we'd sooner tell someone to fuck off in the Netherlands than say we're sorry, which might be why this doesn't strike me as common usage.
  • UroSi
    1
    Nobody is really perfect, you can only reach a certaint level of perfection anything exceeding is unhuman like.
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