nouns - Word for someone who pays attention to details

19
2014-04
  • yzT

    I know I've seen a word that describes a person who has a high perception of details (for example, seeing specific information in a log file), but I can't recall it now.

    Insights?

  • Answers
  • Bravo

    Since the question seeks a noun, I would go for precisionist. As per the Free Dictionary:

    One who values precision; a purist.

  • Jim

    Observant paying close attention especially to details; quick to notice; showing quick and keen perception; alert and paying close attention.

    Perceptive having the ability to understand and notice things that many people do not notice; having or showing keenness of perception, insight, understanding, or intuition.

    I would say that being observant is generally a conscious or practiced behavior, while being perceptive is more of a natural quality. Others might disagree with me on that.

    (It's not clear whether you are looking for a noun or an adjective.)

    Perspicacious Of acute discernment; having keen insight; mentally perceptive; having or showing penetrating mental discernment; having or revealing keen insight and good judgment; acutely perceptive or discerning; clear-eyed, clear-sighted, discerning.

  • FumbleFingers

    OP is asking for a noun, but actually I don't think there is any common "neutral" English term for a person with a flair for noticing details (i.e. - someone who is keenly observant, eagle-eyed).

    In the vast majority of contexts, what we're interested in about such a person isn't so much that they notice the details - it's what they do about details that aren't what they expect or want to find. Normally, because they want something changed, in which case we might call them a...

    perfectionist, pedant, stickler [for the rules], etc.

    Note that most words in this general category (adjectives as well as nouns) usually have negative connotations as per the above. Probably for that reason, we tend to use more general terms such as attentive, meticulous, thorough, reliable when we want to imply positive connotations.

  • Edwin Ashworth

    Percipient is a term with probably a more physical-sense orientated than grasp-the-situation orientated bias than perceptive. (Perhaps through lack of use.)

  • John Lawler

    Someone who pays attention to details is called a person who pays attention to details.
    As FF has pointed out already, there really isn't one word that means this in any context.

    If you really wanted a single noun that would do the job
    (and probably several others at the same time, a potential saving),
    you could call them

    • a payer of attention to details
    • an attention-payer to details
    • a detail attention-payer

    or you could use an adjective, like the other answers suggest.

  • rhetorician

    This may not answer your question, but if you consult the following web site

    http://www.jocrf.org/resources/index.html

    you may find at least a partial answer to your question, and that is: a person who is high in graphoria. That is a term coined by Johnson O'Connor of the Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation (jocrf in the hyperlink). Graphoria is one of many aptitudes which O'Connor identified and measured in his life's work of matching people with jobs for which they were more-or-less ideally suited by aptitudes.

    Graphoria relates to the ability to do "number checking" tasks quickly and efficiently without a great deal of effort. People high in graphoria are detail oriented and are able to scan words, numbers, lists, and symbols and manipulate them in numerous ways with a good deal of accuracy. They make good speed readers. Interestingly, former President Kennedy was high in graphoria and was also a speed reader, or so I was told.

    One reason (and there may be many others) why people who are high in graphoria are so good at "number checking" is because they can focus and refocus on many different details without losing their place. For example, when I am reading a book and taking notes at the same time, I have trouble refocusing on what I'm reading, once I've looked away to take notes. As you can guess, I'm very low in graphoria. My eyes just cannot switch between two sources of words, numbers, lists, and symbols quickly and efficiently. There is definitely some drag time in going from one source to the another. Consequently, I would make (and have been!) a terrible clerk.

    What I lack in graphoria, however, I more than make up for in ideaphoria, which is an aptitude involving the rapid flow of ideas, which equips me for jobs that require that particular skill set. Teachers, advertisers, writers, public speakers, innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, even lawyers benefit from being high in ideaphoria.

    For your own edification, I recommend highly that you look into the Johnson O'Connor website if you are the least bit curious about what your particular aptitudes are and how to exploit the ones in which you measure high, and "work around" the ones in which you measure on the low side.


  • Related Question

    nouns - A word for something you didn't know you'd like
  • dclowd9901

    I need a noun that succinctly describes the enigmatic concept of something that, based on your tastes, you would probably like, but didn't know you'd like. Anyone game?

    Edit: If it can be understood in context, a made-up word is just as good, if not better.

    Edit2: I've seen a lot of mentions of the word "serendipity". "Serendipity" carries too many connotations of "fate" and "luck." This concept would have to deal with the idea of something being introduced to you by someone who knows, evidently, that you would like this thing.


  • Related Answers
  • The Raven

    While the strict meaning is a bit different, the term lagniappe could potentially be stretched to serve as a word meaning "an unexpected gift" or pleasure.

  • FumbleFingers

    You might say it was serendipitously satisfying, where serendipity is the finding of valuable or agreeable things not specifically looked for.

    Some people might interpret the serendipity in this expression as referring to the 'happy accident' of actually finding the satisfying thing, but to me it clearly indicates that it's the satisfaction itself that was unexpectedly found.

    Or of course you could say it was unexpectly enjoyable/pleasurable, which would mean much the same. But I favour serendipitously because it's a somewhat more unusual word, so hopefully the hearer would pay it a bit more attention — and thereby avoid the misinterpretation as above.

    LATER OP having clarified that he wants a single word, that it should be 'gifted' rather than chanced upon, and that he wants 'unexpectedness' associated with the fact of receiving it rather than unexpectly turning out to be a benefit, I suggest the alternative boon, (link) which is related to bonus, obviously, and carries the same associations of being received unexpectly and/or additionally.

  • RegDwigнt

    I was actually trying to answer "Is there a word meaning unexpected pleasure?" But that has been marked as duplicate, so I must answer here.

    Everyone is overthinking this. How about treat?

    To use an example from the other question:

    For example: you book into a cheap hotel and have low expectations for a good experience (dirty linen, no room service, noise, etc) ... but then you discover that your favorite band is doing a gig there.

    Or: you book into an expensive hotel, and figure there will be the usual roll call of luxuries perfectly executed to make your stay a pleasure ... but then you discover that your favorite band is doing a gig there.

    This could be followed by "What a treat!"

  • Dancrumb

    I haven't been able to come up with a pithy single noun. Here are some adjective-noun pairs that you might like:

    • Unexpected pleasure
    • Unforeseen joy
    • Welcome surprise