Are you a purist?


Purist (noun): a person who insists on absolute adherence to traditional rules or structures, especially in language or style.


Is it good or bad to be a purist?  If I look at the first 3 synonyms (all starting with a P like a Punch: Pedant, Precisionist, Perfectionist), does not look so good but then ”pure” is such a nice word and feeling pure is such a pleasure.  So, I am afraid I don’t have a firm answer to the question, as it often happens to an inherently sceptical person.


But I can help you understand if you are a purist or not, no matter if good or bad, through my proprietary Puristometer© survey.  Let’s get started.


Q1.  You have invited a few friends to taste pure Genoese food and you have promised them to cook proper pasta al pesto.  You go to the grocer but they have run out of pine nuts.  What do you do?

  1. You prepare pesto without pine nuts;

  2. You buy walnuts and you use them in place of pine nuts;

  3. You give up on pesto and cook spaghetti alle vongole, which is good but from Naples;

  4. You call a friend who lives 50km away and you drive all the way and back to get some pine nuts;


Q2.  You go to the Christmas Carols evening at your daughters’ school.  After a couple of traditional Christmas songs, here comes a young girl in scant attire singing Baby One More Time by Britney Spears.  What do you do?

  1. You wonder why she doesn’t rather sing something by Bob Marley;

  2. You start dancing with the other parents;

  3. You send a letter of complaint to the Headmistress;

  4. You withdraw your girls from school;


Q3.  When you were a teenager you loved Queen and had all their records.  You now go to watch the movie Bohemian Rhapsody and you see the Queen playing Fat Bottomed Girls at a concert in the US some 3 years before the song release.  What do you do?

  1. You start singing along, not too loud;

  2. You mumble “it’s a mistake” and turn around to check if somebody nods;

  3. You spend the next ten minutes trying to remember the entire discography of the Queen;

  4. You walk out of the cinema;


Q4.  You get to a party and see that Paul is there.  He usually has good dagga so you move closer to him.  He pulls out a bankie and rolling papers and starts spreading the stuff on the cover of a glossy magazine.  Five minutes later he is still shredding the weed and clearly nothing close to inhalation.  You ask him to speed up a bit but he replies that he wants the perfect canna.  What do you do?

  1. You tell Paul that his perfectionism is utterly unnecessary and should be sacrificed for the sake of speed;

  2. You move alongside him, grab the bankie and quickly roll an imperfect canna by yourself;

  3. You look around hoping to gain support from other people in reminding Paul to speed up;

  4. You think that Paul is doing a good job and the canna will be perfect;


Q5.  You are a supporter of Genoa CFC, the oldest football team in Italy.  The team has won its last league in 1924 but has just been acquired by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Bin Saud Al Thani, the richest man in Qatar.  The Sheikh will be landing tomorrow in Genoa to sign the transfer papers, and has just announced that his first action as owner of the club will be to change the team colours from red and blue to green and white.  What do you do?

  1. You plan to go the airport to cheer the arrival of the Sheikh;

  2. You write a polite letter to the Sheikh asking him to please not change the colours;

  3. You plan to go the airport to boo and throw eggs at the Sheikh;

  4. You inform the Saudi Arabian security services that the Sheikh will fly towards Genoa the next day;


Rate yourself with the Puristometer©!


The rating system is quite simple to use as long as you have a basic understanding of remote sensing, wireline logging and the reproduction of algae in polluted rivers.  Here it is:

A = 0

B = 1

C = 2

D = 3


Classify yourself with the Puristometer©!


15-12 – Pure purist

You are born “conservative” and you inherently detest and abhor everything that is “funky”.  You are terrorised by change and can get a fit if the bathroom towels don’t match the bedroom linen.  You once met somebody you liked but he/she was living in another neighbourhood.  You stopped the relationship as soon as you realised that this might have meant the need to move from your place and having to change some fundamental aspects of life such as the morning coffee shop and where to buy groceries.  You are so narrowminded that at times you end up breaking rules and traditions due to excessive compliance.  This is because you believe that your rules and traditions are better than others, and you end up in misbehaving and being impure to protect your purity.

Dress code: If you are woman, you wear tailleurs; if you are man, you wear suits.


11-8 – Impure purist

You are born “liberal” and there is nothing that you inherently detest and abhor until the Chinese take away delivers the wrong order.  The only thing that you really believe in is the power of the “market”, the “invisible hand”, and you don’t realise that it certainly exists but seems more prone to make good use of the invisibility to steal from you rather than helping you.  You want to be independent but, because of your lack of real beliefs, you struggle to build a clear identity.  So you often use citations to express yourself and you think that by doing so you will look like the author and gain a bit of interest.  You prefer to measure your worth in terms of net worth and therefore your level of purity is directly correlated to the completeness of your tax return.

Dress code: If you are woman, you wear skirts; if you are man, you wear shirts.


7-4 – Impure impurist

You are born “agnostic” and there is nothing that you inherently detest and abhor otherwise it would mean that you believe in something, something to hate.  So you love everybody until you get to Stansted airport.  There, you would love to have a super powerful laser beam that makes people disappear, starting from the customs officers.  You are so open to listening and considering everybody else’s opinion that you basically cannot form your own opinion and end up just repeating interesting concepts at random.  Not believing in what you don’t believe makes you full of uncertainties, contradictions and inconsistencies, which denotes a high level of all types of impurities.  A dangerous sub-category of the impure impurist is the anti-conformist with comfort, who can spend hours talking about defeating poverty while swallowing abundant doses of oysters and champagne at a brasserie in Paris. 

Dress code: If you are a women, you wear pants; if you are a man, you wear shorts.


3-0 – Pure impurist

You are born “alternative” and you inherently detest and abhor everything that is “mainstream”.

As soon as something you like becomes fashionable, you stop wearing it.  When a band you have followed since their beginnings finally reaches number one in the charts, you stop listening to them because their music is too “commercial”.  You always want to be at the edge and at times you end up behaving very traditionally and according to rules due to excessive transgression.  So you start a revolution to liberate the masses but you end up enslaving the masses through authoritarianism and bureaucracy.  Or you spend too much time in trying to classify people into LGBTQIRA and what’s still to come (I’d suggest H like horny) instead of simply thinking of all people as people.  In a nutshell, you approach impurity in a pure mode and so you get a bit messed up.

Dress code: If you are a woman, you wear overalls; if you are men you wear kilts.


Peace and love