If I have a lot of work to do, and yet feel an obligation to send you something, and you say, “Thanks, that’s adequate,” I am good with that. I didn’t expect I was going for a record in perfection, so I think, “Phew, I’m glad your satisfied.”
On the other hand I would take it personal if you called ME adequate. Adequate is one above boring. I think the only reason it is not at the bottom is because my dad thought boring people the worst. This, coupled with his dislike of introverts, had me on the look out for symptoms. I was afraid boring and introversion were communicable diseases.
Being adequate is not so much scary, as depressing. I can dance the night away to become less boring and make you think I am the life of the party, but getting out of being adequate, seems impossible. Only thing worse is less than adequate.
The good news is that as I get older boring, adequate and introverted become obsolete fears. All of them can be assigned to me without my being concerned although less than adequate still bugs me. Maybe in the next decade it will move off my threatened list too.