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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Perfection

Perfection is the greatest flirt of them all. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "Marginalia," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940

Nobody's perfect, and our fondest memories of anyone are of the amusing ways they proved it. ~Robert Brault,

Attained perfection would not be my problem for a whole lot of lifetimes... ~Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever:  a lovestory, 1984

No one is perfect — that's why pencils have erasers. ~Author unknown

It's better to be perfectly useful than uselessly perfect. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

Nothing that is complete breathes. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect. Deliver me, Tyler, from being perfect and complete. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, 1996

...for nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it. ~John Henry Newman

You can't hit a home run every time. ~C.C. Williams, 1959

Only in grammar can you be more than perfect. ~William Safire

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...
~Leonard Cohen, "Anthem," 1992

No man that lives can satisfy everybody. The recipe for perfect peace is, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. ~Elbert Hubbard

The most difficult part of attaining perfection is finding something to do for an encore. ~Author unknown

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968

Does "anal-retentive" have a hyphen? ~Alison Bechdel,

I love a Fool — as naturally, as if I were of kith and kin to him... And take my word for this, reader, and say a fool told it you, if you please, that he who hath not a dram of folly in his mixture, hath pounds of much worse matter in his composition. ~Charles Lamb, "All Fools Day," Essays of Elia

The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. ~Matthew Arnold

If anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away... ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939, translated from the French by Lewis Galantière

Striving to better, oft we mar what's well. ~William Shakespeare, King Lear, c.1605  [I, 4, Duke of Albany]

It's not that perfection cannot be achieved. It's that it's so hard to stop there. ~Robert Brault,

As any artist can tell you, it is easier to reach perfection than to stop there. ~Robert Brault,

A good garden may have some weeds. ~Proverb

Congratulations! You're not perfect! It's ridiculous to want to be perfect anyway. But then, everybody's ridiculous sometimes, except perfect people. ~Stephen Manes, Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!

It takes time to get the knack of it. It is foolish to reserve all our praise for perfection. That gives us an unpleasant impression, such as that which we receive from a person who, when there is a call for small change, produces a bank bill of a large denomination, which he knows no one can break for him. ~Samuel McChord Crothers, "The Difficulties of the Peace-Makers," The Pardoner's Wallet, 1905

One minute was enough, Tyler said, a person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, 1996

It is not that we are perfect in the eyes of love but rather that our imperfections are lovable. ~Robert Brault,

Perfection does not exist; to comprehend it is the triumph of human intelligence; to desire to possess it, the most dangerous of follies. Open your window, Octave; do you not see the infinite? You try to form some idea of a thing that has no limits, you who were born yesterday and who will die to-morrow?... Perfection, my friend, is no more made for us than infinity. We must seek for nothing in it, demand nothing of it, neither love nor beauty, happiness nor virtue.... ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century/La Confession d'un enfant du siècle, 1836, Desgenais to Octave, translated from French by Kendall Warren

I beat myself up every day, without so much as a scratch. ~Terri Guillemets, "Perfectionism," 1990

Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectnesses. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways. ~Samuel McChord Crothers, "The Mission of Humor," The Gentle Reader, 1903

Our capacity for imperfectness seems absolutely unlimited. ~Samuel McChord Crothers, "The Pardoner," The Pardoner's Wallet, 1905

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