Is there a a natural sentence or phrase describing a state of not being satisfied?

E.LL is a writer. He has written a piece of writing recently. He thinks his work can be improved although it already seems acceptable. He never was a big fan of perfectionism, but surprisingly, that current point of perfection didn't satisfy him and he continued to modify the the piece of writing .... (These sentences has been concocted by me)

Added: consider we have three basic discrete levels of writers: !
1)careless 2)moderate 3)perfect
And also there are some other levels that 
lies within these three levels !
And the writer creates a piece of writing whose 
work qualifies him such way that he locates between level 2 and 3
which is referred to it as 
**that** in the above sentence.

Is there a natural way to write/speak about that? In Persian, we have a phrase , بسنده نکرد , which fits to this context completely.

Also, which one of the below quantifiers* are more appropriate in such sentences?

  1. that point of
  2. that extent of
  3. that degree of
  4. that level of
  5. that scale of
  6. that deal of

*quantifiers does not stand for its grammarian connotation, it is just a word that came to my mind at the moment.

  • You're looking to replace "that point of perfection", right? He wasn't satisfied with its imperfections and continued to modify.... We can say "He was unhappy with its imperfections..."
    – TimR
    Jun 22, 2016 at 15:18
  • @TRomano Not exactly, I want to know the proper phrase for expressing the amount of perfection, that.
    – Cardinal
    Jun 22, 2016 at 15:39
  • 1
    I'm getting the feeling that what you mean by that [level of perfection] is actually something that could be paraphrased as the (intermediate, not particularly low or high) level of perfection which arose naturally when the writer made no particular effort to achieve either a low or a high level of perfection. The trouble is there simply isn't any natural way of referencing such a complex concept in the way you seek. You'd need to use far more words (not necessarily those of my paraphrasing). Jun 22, 2016 at 19:23
  • 1
    It';s true we don't normally refer to level of deliciousness (under 300 hits in the whole of Google Books), but level of perfection (60,000 hits) and level of reliability (141,000) are perfectly normal collocations. It's just that levels of perfection are nearly always high, and reliability is usually high or low, not "somewhere in the middle". Jun 22, 2016 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


Accepting, for the sake of argument, that perfection is not an all-or-nothing thing:

not satisfied with that degree of perfection

was the usual collocation, at least back when people were concerned with perfection :)

though one could substitute point, pitch, standard, height, state, level.

  • I have added something, wish those reveals my thoughts effectively
    – Cardinal
    Jun 22, 2016 at 17:58
  • Your addendum is not as clear as it might be. Are you asking for a word that characterizes something (e.g. a performance, a written work) as falling somewhere between "average" and "excellent"? Or are you merely showing a possible referent for "that"? As in, "I asked you to turn up the volume, but I didn't want it that loud."
    – TimR
    Jun 22, 2016 at 19:13
  • No I meant to use the best or natural describer* like degree of perfection in that context.
    – Cardinal
    Jun 22, 2016 at 19:17
  • 1
    I find it very odd that you would say "That work has a very low degree of perfection" or a "very careless degree of perfection". Why even use the word perfection when imperfections outnumber or outweigh the good points?
    – TimR
    Jun 22, 2016 at 19:18
  • Oh, sorry, I should have used adverbs rather than adjectives, let me change it
    – Cardinal
    Jun 22, 2016 at 19:20

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