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The Curiosity rover was a ________ program worthy of applause

While many of the technologies existed for decades, Steve Jobs was ________ for making them usable for end-users

I am trying to find the correct adjective here.

"Innovative" programs or products are worthy of applause, but the term seems inaccurate and cliche-d. The other adjectives that came to my mind belittles and are narrow; for example calling Steve Jobs a "tinkerer" fails to describe him.

What word is suitable for these cases?

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closed as not a real question by coleopterist, MετάEd, tchrist, StoneyB, FumbleFingers Oct 2 '12 at 3:35

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Also English term for pre-thinker?, –  jwpat7 Sep 28 '12 at 16:41
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I would reword your first sentence to something like: The Curiosity rover was a feat of engineering worthy of applause. (Feat means: An act of skill, endurance, imagination, or strength; an achievement. And your second sentence: ....Steve Jobs had a knack for making them usable for end-users. (Knack means: A specific talent for something, especially one difficult to explain or teach –  JLG Sep 28 '12 at 19:23
    
but curiosity was innovative, thats the thing... the sky crane was an untested innovation... –  David McGowan Sep 28 '12 at 20:10

2 Answers 2

For Curiosity, what about

  • ground breaking
  • earth-shattering
  • out-of-sight
  • earth-shaking
  • astronomical
  • momentous
  • monumental
  • revolutionary
  • seismic
  • historic
  • pivotal
  • apocalyptic
  • epoch-making

For Mr. Jobs, many of the same terms could apply. Additionally, he could be characterised as a(n)

  • innovator
  • groundbreaker
  • pioneer
  • trailblazer
  • mastermind
  • originator
  • wizard
  • magician
  • miracle-worker
  • genius
  • marvel
  • virtuoso
  • wonder-worker
  • innovator
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The wording you used in your question is perfectly good for the first sentence. The Curiosity rover was a "well-executed" program worthy of applause. My point here is that simplicity is often better than what you might think the thesaurus was telling you is the "perfect" word.

For the 2nd sentence, I'd say, Steve Jobs was 'rightly credited' for making them usable for end-users. Or maybe this is more along the lines of what you're intending to convey: "Steve Jobs added further value to them by making them usable ...".

I would stay away from a sentence form that goes 'Steve Jobs was adjective for making them usable ...' except in very informal contexts. I think it would be preferable to say something like 'Steve Jobs proved himself to be adjective by making them usable ...'

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