: the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies : prototype; also : a perfect example
i've been sitting at my desk for thirty minutes trying to think of a perfect example of something. and all i have figured out is that the phrase "a perfect example" is usually used to illustrate what not to do. and this totally makes sense. is there really a perfect example of how to do something? if it's so perfect, why are we trying to copy it? there's no way to achieve it's perfection, right? and maybe it's only perfect in it's historical time and place. and it's perfection will not traverse these boundaries.
i vote for a new word: NARCHETYPE: a perfect example of how not to do something.
there are NARCHETYPES everywhere. here are a few examples:
the NARCHETYPAL mother: i saw a woman on the max the other day, talking on a cell phone and telling her kid to shut up while she shoved a cheeseburger into her mouth. i'm glad this is not my mother.
the NARCHETYPAL pedestrian: yesterday i was riding down couch street and a man in a suit looked only one way, not both ways, before crossing and stepped directly in front of my bike. i had a green light. so i yelled, "i have a green light!" he said, "oops."
the NARCHETYPAL budget breaker: spending $10 on a jacket at goodwill when you have $13 in your checking account until friday. it's a really great jacket, though.
mirriam-webster, consider yourself housed.
i don't even know if i know what that means, but it sounds good, so i'm keeping it.