Stickler for cleanliness, pedantic when it comes to,

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dreamlike

Senior Member
Polish
Hi everyone :)

Suppose my roommate is an extreme pedant when it comes to cleanliness and even a single crumb can set his teeth on edge.
What is the best and the most common way to convey this idea in English? In my experience, it's the first one.

1) He's (such a) stickler for cleanliness.
2) He's (so) pedantic when it comes to cleanliness.
3) He's (so) fastidious about cleanliness.

There are a number of ways to say this and I could be listing them for hours, but how would you and the people you know of describe such a person?
 
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  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Of your suggestions 1 and 3 would both be fine.

    2 is not a good use of pedantic. Although our definition in here suggests an attention to detail, crumbs are not the right sort of detail. It is more to do with people who drone on about minor points of "correctness" in factual matters.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thanks for your answers, Suzi and Paul.

    The example with crumbs was just to illustrate my point.

    "Pedantic" is the very word I'd use in my language, I didn't know that there is this nuance of meaning in English. Having consuluted several dictionaries I agree that's a bad use of the word, since a pedantic person (in English) is one overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, especially in teaching. (TheFreeDictionary).

    I think I'll be using "stickler for cleanliness", it appears to be very common judging by Google results and I like it.
     
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    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    There are a number of ways to say this and I could be listing them for hours, but how would you and the people you know of describe such a person?

    I agree that there are several ways to convey this idea, Dreamlike, ranging from the blunt and offensive to the more neutral, maybe even euphemistic expressions. So what is the context, who is the recipient of this statement about your roommate? In other words, if you’re going to tell his new girlfriend or tell him to his face you might reconsider using ‘being a stickler for/obsessive about cleanliness, and go for something a little more neutral like, he’s quite particular when it comes to cleanliness, (which still gets the message across.):)

    Bic.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I agree that there are several ways to convey this idea, Dreamlike, ranging from the blunt and offensive to the more neutral, maybe even euphemistic expressions. So what is the context, who is the recipient of this statement about your roommate? In other words, if you’re going to tell his new girlfriend or tell him to his face you might reconsider using ‘being a stickler for/obsessive about cleanliness, and go for something a little more neutral like, he’s quite particular when it comes to cleanliness, (which still gets the message across.):)

    Bic.
    Hmmm, it's difificult to say.. the recipient of my statement is no-one specific, I was on the lookout for some neutral phrase, stating the fact, with an element of anger to it. "stickler for cleanliness" seems fit for that purpose. :)
     
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