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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?

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

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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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