I’m trying to capture the following sense:
- Primary meaning: hyper-attentive to detail
- Secondary considerations:
- no negative connotation indicating insincerity such as “pedantic”, “stilted”, or “bookish” (i.e., not obsessing over details in an ostentatious way)
- it’s ok to imply that the person being labeled as this is a perfectionist, but not in a negative or excessive way (i.e, not “nitpicky,” “hairsplitting,” “anal”, “persnickety”, or “doctrinaire”)
- this person cannot “shut it off” and stop being attentive to detail no matter how tired / if on vacation / wanting to “tune out”—s/he can’t help but notice minor details, even when s/he isn’t even trying to pay attention
Potential candidates (but let me know if these carry any negative connotation):
Example sentences (I’m no author; I’m just trying to give descriptive sentences with context, even at the expense of making run-ons):
The ____________ attorney immediately spotted numerous stylistic inconsistencies in the contract (as typical of documents with multiple authors), but thought it best only to voice his concern with a substantive grammatical error that resulted in a legally ambiguous clause.
She couldn’t help but notice his pallor, the tiny crumb on his shirt, a slight blue stain on his fingers, and the empty muffin wrapper in the adjacent garbage can. He never eats breakfast. His unusually-laconic reply to her question gave her pause. Now isn’t the time to ask him this, she thought to herself. Her ________ observations enabled her to deduce that she would fare better later on—after his blood sugar level increased.