Picky?

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prankstare

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Well, let me try to picture a situation:

Suppose I ask my English teacher to revise my essay. Knowing that this teacher is kind of lazy so to speak, I shall ask him to be very (...picky?... as in quite a "pain in the ass" making corrections on even the slightest of grammar slips).

What would be a good adjective for that? I'm not sure about the "picky" one.
 
  • Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    If you are speaking to the teacher, you might (diplomatically) say, "I know how meticulously you mark papers, and that's exactly why I'm asking you for help in revising my essay." "Picky" is informal and almost always (as you show in your "pain in the ass" comment") has a negative connotation.
     

    prankstare

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    If you are speaking to the teacher, you might (diplomatically) say, "I know how meticulously you mark papers, and that's exactly why I'm asking you for help in revising my essay." "Picky" is informal and almost always (as you show in your "pain in the ass" comment") has a negative connotation.

    OK, think I'm better off using "meticulous" then. Thanks.

    One other thing though: can I use "picky" if I'm being very informal? I mean in this teacher essay revising case.
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    Prankstare,

    You can use "picky" in formal or informal situations as long as you're not calling someone picky (and thus, possibly, insulting them). On the other hand, in friendly situations, people can often humorously call their friends "picky":

    Mary: "Here, I made you an extra-special chocolate sundae!"
    Ann: "Where's the cherry on top?"
    Mary: "Oh, you're so picky!"
     

    padredeocho

    Banned
    United States
    persnickety is a word that is GREAT, but many in the US will not know what it means. Those who love English, love that word. But your average Joe will not understand it. Everybody knows what picky means.
     

    padredeocho

    Banned
    United States
    Prankstare,

    You can use "picky" in formal or informal situations as long as you're not calling someone picky (and thus, possibly, insulting them). On the other hand, in friendly situations, people can often humorously call their friends "picky":

    Mary: "Here, I made you an extra-special chocolate sundae!"
    Ann: "Where's the cherry on top?"
    Mary: "Oh, you're so picky!"
    I like this sentence. Picky can mean OVERLY critical, too. It can mean both:

    I love your tie! I can tell you are very picky (discriminating) when it comes to fashion. PICKY is positive.

    Tommy, at least try your mother's beans before you say you will hate them. You are say darn pickie! Picky is negative.

    However, when you invite a person to be "picky", as in your sentence, I think it is a good thing.
     

    Kevman

    Senior Member
    USA English
    If you're specifically requesting that someone be picky I don't think it has much of a negative connotation, since its a quality that you actually want brought to bear. Also, if you ask for pickiness in a specific case it doesn't necessarily imply that your teacher is a picky person in general. I don't see anything negative or accusatory in your use of the word picky here, prankstare.
     
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