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I'm looking for a word that signifies a lack of attention to detail causing sloppiness.

For example, if I write an essay, and there are terrible grammar mistakes and sentence structure mistakes all over the paper, it would be because I was (or was not) being _.

If I make a drawing and the eyes aren't lined properly and the shading is done poorly, it probably shows that I was (or wasn't) being _. I wasn't paying attention to that detail.

Words like "lazy," or even "attentive" could work, but those are too general. I could not be attentive in class or not be attentive during my meeting at work, but those don't take into account that the lack of me paying attention to the important details, caused my poor and sloppy error in whatever I was doing.

Is there a word that matches what I'm looking for, or should I just go with the word "attentive" to say what I want?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

How about careful? It is defined as: exercising or taking care; marked by attentive concern and solicitude; marked by painstaking effort to avoid errors or omissions.

You could also use the word careless if you rewrote your sentences a little. It is defined as: not paying enough attention to what one does: a careless typist; not exact, accurate, or thorough: careless work.

For example, if I write an essay, and there are terrible grammar mistakes and sentence structure mistakes all over the paper, it would be because I was careless.

If I make a drawing and the eyes aren't lined properly and the shading is done poorly, it probably shows that I was being careless. I wasn't paying attention to that detail.

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Try 'lax'. It denotes a lack of attention.

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You could say "I wasn't being conscientious."

wishing to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly:

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meticulous

adj. taking or showing extreme care about minute detail

(free online dictionary.com)

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The adjective I would use is slovenly. That is "causing sloppiness."

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