transcendent and superb

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Senior Member
Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
In this sentence, "He describes seeing Pele play football as one of the transcendent/superb moments of his life." (transcendent was used in the original) I think that "transcendent" is stringer. They both suggest to me that it was a great moment, but transcendent would mean to me "exceptionally good". Can "superb" still be used, though? Does my distinction make sense?

Thank you
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The word "transcendent" has a nuance of spirituality - as if the very soul of the person is emotionally moved. "Superb" has none of this and is somewhat bland - it is not really comfortable qualifying "moment" in this context. It depends what the speaker actually meant and, absent context, I would suggest "most wonderful", which has the idea of emotionally moving and a degree of excellence.

    The context is important because we know that Pele played football for about 20 years - obviously this cannot be described as "a moment", and Pele played in thousands of matches, so "seeing him play" only works with "one of the xxx momenta" if he is describing seeing him play for the first time or seeing him play in a particular match.
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