2

I read a book years ago in which one character described another succinctly in one or maybe two words. Sadly, the book was lost in a flood and I cannot recall the vocabulary used. Nor can I recall The author of the book.

The characteristic being described is what I have labeled as a "serial monomaniac".*¹ This person had one area of interest, which he focused on to the exclusion of other interests. But when he was satisfied with his experience with that interest he moved into another area of interest and focused exclusively on that area.

The hyperfocus and intensity of the interest are beyond what we would usually call flighty, fickle, or a dilettante.

I am not looking for Renaissance Man/Woman. That might describe an extreme version of this person, such as someone who completes law school and then studies medicine, followed by a stint in politics or business.

I am also not looking for fanatic, enthusiast, aficianado, nor fanatic.

Can anyone suggest a word that describes this characteristic? https://www.dictionary.com, https://www.thesaurus.com, https://www.merriam-webster.com, https://dictionary.cambridge.org, https://psychologydictionary.org, https://allpsych.com do not recognize the two word term.

As best as I am remember the first character says something like:
"Remember the two years you spent learning ()? And then you spent three years learning (). You focus so much I whatever you are interested in. John,you are such a ( ). I'm just not ready for that much intensity...about me."

*The term serial monomania has been used to describe this characteristic but I am looking for a simpler one word label. (See https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/05/12/many-colored-glass-peter-schjeldahl)

  • I immediately thought of maniac: ": a person characterized by an inordinate or ungovernable enthusiasm for something." But it doesn't have the explicit sense of moving to another thing once the first is finished. However, it does fit the context of the example sentence. – Jason Bassford May 13 at 15:41
  • Sounds like extreme OCD to me. – Hot Licks May 13 at 16:55
  • Jason Bassford, I have edited my example to more accurately reflect my recollection of the original conversation. – Diana Barton May 13 at 17:18
  • Jason Bassford, I also agree that maniac is part of the idea. Monomania at its root is mania about one thing. The term serial adds that sense of moving on. But no resources I have yet found recognize the complete idea. – Diana Barton May 13 at 17:22
-1

How about serially complulsive or serially obsessive? From M-W:

compulsive: of, relating to, caused by, or suggestive of psychological compulsion or obsession

obsession: something about which one is constantly thinking or concerned

obsessive: caused by or suggestive of an irresistible urge

Your example:

"Remember the two years you spent learning ()? And then you spent three years learning (). You focus so much I whatever you are interested in. John, you are so serially compulsive. I'm just not ready for that much intensity...about me."

"Remember the two years you spent learning ()? And then you spent three years learning (). You focus so much I whatever you are interested in. John, you are so serially obsessive. I'm just not ready for that much intensity...about me."

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.