I have recently been noticing the tendency to use the term "perfect square" when "square number" is really what is meant.
Usually I have seen it at elementary level: introductory algebra, popular puzzle pages, and so on.
I confess I cringe at the term. There are already several usages in various branches of mathematics of the descriptor "perfect", and applying it to the term "square" does not seem to be to be a useful one. For a start, it can confuse a bright but naïve student into wondering what such a square has to do with "perfect numbers", and whether a "perfect square" means a "square number which happens also to be a perfect number" (and then go running off vainly to find one).
Are there any advantages to the term "perfect square", or is it just to impress upon the student the gosh-wowery of a concept which is really pretty mundane? If you're in the realm of integers (sorry, we're at an elementary level here, "counting numbers"), then your number is going to be either "square" or it isn't. There's no such thing as an "imperfect square", and while I will grant you that $143$, for example, is "almost square", it's not square.
But I keep seeing it on the Mathematics forum, for no perceptibly useful effect.
Any professional educators out there who find that expressing it as a "perfect square" aids understanding and doesn't hinder the learning process?