I would love to have read Ambrose Bierce’s take on the word ‘paragon’, as I have a shrewd suspicion that he would have damned with faint praise that which we are wont to laud above all virtues.
So, I shall supply the cynical and scathing silver-grey underbelly of this prize fish. I shall, if you like – and many of you probably won’t! – do a Bierce on this word.
Paragon of Virtue: A sanctimonious twat who is so puffed-up with self-importance that he/she is in imminent danger of exploding and showering the onlookers with a veritable vichyssoise of internal organs and high-faluting moral superiority.
To be avoided at all costs, in other words!
Toad of Toad Hall had he ever got Religion!
Personally, I prefer my life companions to be interestingly-flawed and thorn-embedded, though genuine, of heart.