exceptional / outstanding

Sicily

Senior Member
Spain Spanish
Hello, could you tell me the nouns for those two adjectives?

Can I say 'exceptionality', 'outstandingness'? I don't think so...

Please help. Thank you!

Sicily
 
  • hbklas

    Member
    English, US
    Hello

    To be honest, I am have never heard "exceptionality" - usually "the exceptional nature" of a book or a text. It is more commonly used as an adjective (exceptional- Her scholarly works are exceptional for their clarity) or as an adverb (exceptionally- She did exceptionally well on the exam)

    Better to say "superiority" to mean to excellence

    But to mean the idea that something "stands out" from the rest due to its excellence would be the "distinctiveness" or distinctive nature of something.

    The both suggestions you have are in the dictionary but depending on the context they could be an awkward solution. . . without the sentence I couldn't tell you more.

    Good luck
     

    Sicily

    Senior Member
    Spain Spanish
    Thank you hbklas. Here's the text. Can you tell me if it sounds right in English please?

    It seems that exceptionality/distinctiveness is widespreading in the place of balance, stability and order; imbalance takes the places of fragmentation, aesthetics of the astounding and abnormal takes the place of the aesthetics of the static and the regulated.

    Thank you!
     

    yuan

    New Member
    Canada - English
    That doesn't sound right to me, personally. I think the words 'exceptionality' [which I have never heard, or used] and 'distinctiveness' would be used in a sentence describing something, rather than having them as the subjects you're talking about.

    Ex. The distinctiveness/exceptionality of Chopin's music...
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you hbklas. Here's the text. Can you tell me if it sounds right in English please?

    It seems that exceptionality/distinctiveness is widespreading in the place of balance, stability and order; imbalance takes the places of fragmentation, aesthetics of the astounding and abnormal takes the place of the aesthetics of the static and the regulated.

    Thank you!
    Sicily,

    You are going to have to rewrite this most energetically if you want an English reader of average endurance to get beyond the sixth word. A fortiori a foreign person is going to be totally lost. It could go into the fifth chapter of the Phenomenology of Right no questions asked. You need to simplify, not the thought, but the expression: use simpler words and active personal constructions, short sentences, and see if you can restrict yourself to words of no more than two syllables.

    This struggle to find a noun which nobody uses inevitably suggests that you aren't primarily concerned with communicating ideas in ways natural to English people.

    If you want to be read with any sort of pleasure and understanding this all needs a lot of work.

    I hope you don't take these words amiss. It would have been easier for me not to write this post.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hello Sicily,

    I agree with the essence of Thomas Tompion's comments.

    As I struggle to read your text, two thoughts occur to me. First, the style is typical of much formal writing in
    the romance languages. By comparison with American English, it is convoluted, with an excess of ideas jammed into a single sentence. Thomas's advice to break it into shorter sentences will make it easier for the reader. Second, it is written in an academic style. That in itself isn't bad, if your audience is accustomed to it and expects it. If, however, you then attempt a very literal translation, the result is dense. (difficult to understand or follow because of being closely packed with ideas or complexities of style) and awkward. It doesn't flow.

    If you want the text to feel comfortable and natural for an English speaker, try to write an equivalent English paraphrase, rather than a translation.

    It seems that exceptionality/distinctiveness is widespreading in the place of balance, stability and order; imbalance takes the places of fragmentation, aesthetics of the astounding and abnormal takes the place of the aesthetics of the static and the regulated.

    I'll risk making a fool of myself, and attempt to write
    what I think you mean in more mundane English.

    Where order and balance were common, we now find distinctiveness. Fragmentation is being replaced by imbalance.
    Aesthetics based on regularity and stability (symmetry?) are pushed aside by conscious efforts to highlight the astounding and abnormal.

    I can't do much useful with the sentence in blue, as I really don't know what it means.


     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "Chaos is being replaced by imbalance" ??? Maybe.

    For me, the original is almost impossible to decipher. The rewrites are clearer in meaning, but I have almost no idea what the point of this is. Of course I may not be the target audience.

    Note: Just because it is a word, it does not mean you should use it.

    "Exceptionality", in my opinion, would fall in that category. I would not use it. It sounds pretentious, and it is a mouthful.

    I had a professor who was fond of using the word, "specificity." Nothing incorrect in its usage, except all the students used to laugh at him for using it. (I think the term we used was "pretentious ass".)

    In any case I would seek out a more down to earth word for this sentence.

    Distinctiveness has already been suggested.

    Uniqueness.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Where order and balance were once common, we now find distinctiveness. Fragmentation is being replaced by imbalance.
    Aesthetics based on regularity and stability (symmetry?) are pushed aside by conscious efforts to highlight the astounding and abnormal.
    I had no clue as to what it meant until I read this. I would add "once" as shown in red. Not essential, but it reads better to me with it than without it.
     

    Musical Chairs

    Senior Member
    Japan & US, Japanese & English
    I think that "exceptional" is more than "outstanding." "Outstanding" just means "very, very good" while "exceptional" means "so good that it's unusual/rare" (though it can be used for bad situations too, like "exceptionally rotten").

    You can do outstandingly well on an exam, but it wouldn't be exceptional if everyone got the same score (or if they did, other classes did much worse).
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I cannot say that I truly understand the point you are trying to make. I would guess, though, that is it a point related to that made by the great English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins when he wrote the following about his own unusual poetic style:
    No doubt my poetry errs on the side of oddness. I hope in time to have a more balanced and Miltonic style. But as air, melody, is what strikes me most of all in music and design in painting, so design, pattern, or what I am in the habit of calling inscape is what I above all aim at in poetry. Now it is the virtue of design, pattern, or inscape to be distinctive and it is the vice of distinctiveness to become queer. This vice I have not escaped.
    Is that what you are comparing: the virtue of distinctiveness, and the vice of mere oddity?

    I will also note that "widespread" is not a verb, and so you cannot say that "distinctiveness is widespreading". Instead, you should say "distinctiveness is becoming widespread".
     

    Sicily

    Senior Member
    Spain Spanish
    Thank you all. Your comments and suggestions are 'exceptionally' useful ;)
    I am struggling with this paragraph because it is actually a translation. I am not the target audience either and this is why I find it difficult to put in in English. I'll follow your advices and get back to you!

    Thank you again.

    Sicily
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I think "individuality" is perhaps the word we are looking for.
    It seems that individuality is overwhelming balance, stability and order; imbalance takes the place of fragmentation; aesthetics of the astounding; and abnormal takes the place of the aesthetics of the static and the regulated.
     
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