What Is My Worst Flaw?

Today’s Daily Prompt What is your worst quality?

Hmm, I’m not sure about that question. Are we sure that “quality” is the correct word? Is it the best word?

Dictionary.reference.com (DRC) gives us a good meaning. As a noun it has the first meaning as “an essential or distinctive characteristic, property, or attribute” so we could certainly say that this meaning allows the usage in the question. Meaning 5 is even better — “a personality or character trait” is exactly what we are talking about.

Is it the best word? I’d like to argue that it isn’t. My reason stems from the frequent use of ‘quality’ as a positive adjective. Once again DRC shows us the answer under adjective as “of or having superior quality”. So “worst quality” is a bit of a mixed message.

Instead we might say “worst characteristic” or “attribute” but I think we might be better to go with something a little negative. Hence my title where I say “worst flaw”. We often hear people say “his flaws” or “her character flaws”.

To answer the question is a little harder. The immediate and obvious answer is my moodiness, but since that principally stems from my depression I think it would be a little unfair to cite that. Several other flaws such as a sometimes lack of motivation and ability to stick to long task stem from the same cause so we will strike them off the list.

OK, I think one of my worst flaws is a little obvious from this post. I can be a terrible pedant, particularly where word usage and grammar are concerned. One of my friends who is building up a web site for her business recently told me “sometimes it seems you never see the good stuff” since I find grammar and word usage errors in almost everything she posts. How pedantic can I be? I’m so pedantic that I actually looked up ‘quality’, ‘flaw’, ‘characteristic’ and attribute in my huge “Compact Oxford English Dictionary” while writing this post. I then pointed to dictionary.reference.com as I knew you, dear reader, would have access to that. (This is now my fourth edit of this post to slightly improve some of the sentence construction.)

The truth is that finding the errors is easy for me. I spent years training myself as an editor when I did it for a living and ever since I’ve continued to improve as I’ve written for university and in my work. I had one boss who got so tired of my complaints about her memos she routinely had me edit all of hers. Somebody higher up the food chain actually commented to her about how well written and clear one of her proposals was.

The downside is that I now can’t not see the problems in a piece of writing and it is difficult for me not to point them out. I can’t help myself, I feel a need to tell you what’s wrong with your writing.

I’m sure it annoys some of my friends and colleagues. I’ll try to be better.


2 thoughts on “What Is My Worst Flaw?

  1. Pingback: FOREVER FLAWED « hastywords

  2. Pingback: Flawed! | Beyond Beauty Tips

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