Best practices, redux

Jared Richardson took issue with my assertion that there’s no such thing as best practices, stating that, in essence, it’s not kosher for me to deny existence of something that I have to define:

They said “There are no best practices” and then they had to define the term… but they defined it wrong! A best practice isn’t a required practice or a universally dominant practice. It’s just one of the best ones. It’s used quite often, but not everywhere and not always. (No such thing as best practices? Sure there are!)

Unfortunately, Jared, the semantics of the term “best practice” implies exactly that: something that’s used everywhere and always, for when would anyone choose not to use a “best practice”? And if it’s not used everywhere and always, then it’s not “best”, implying “better than all alternatives”, ya?

How about, at the end of the day, we just drop the term “best practice” altogether, and stick with “useful practice” instead? Would that satisfy everyone’s sensibilities?