On British novelist Zadie Smith's new collection of essays, entitled Changing My Mind, reviewer Ella Taylor writes:
Taken together, they reflect a lively, unselfconscious, rigorous, erudite and earnestly open mind that's busy refining its view of life, literature and a great deal in between. Delightful, painful and spontaneously funny…
Lively, rigorous, erudite, unselfconscious, earnestly open-minded, delightful, painful, spontaneously funny: not a bad set of adjectives.
I am always interested in how you can describe really talented people. "Smart" has been overused to be devoid of meaning. The most original and descriptive adjective from the above list is: unselfconscious.
Here's my review of Smith's On Beauty.
6 comments on “Adjectives to Describe Impressiveness”
For about a year I’ve kept a list of adjectives that I want people to describe me as, and a list I never want to be associated with. Pretty good way to make decisions 🙂
Thanks for this post Ben!
Of course, the word that resonates the most with me is “erudite,” as I have been running Erudite Expressions, my daily photoblog for the last three and a half years…
My original intention was to provide commentary from the books and articles I read to the pictures I posted, but I realized I couldn’t do that with every post. Still, the name has stuck…
I have subscribed for a “google alert” to any news instances of “Erudite” on the web :).
How about “so talented as to defy an adjectival account.”
A great way to put it indeed.
thank you! that’s brilliant of you to point out. my hero!
Unselfconscious is an amazing word. Nails right on the head what I love about my favorite people. I try to be conscious without being self-conscious.