What Does Astute Observational Powers Mean?


2 Answers

Ian John Profile
Ian John answered
If someone is described as having 'astute observational powers' it means that they are capable of encapsulating a general truth by observing them closely and making an insightful and intelligent analysis of the situation. It also usually means that the person is capable of communicating this analysis in a succinct, clever and occasionally witty way that makes it easier for the reader or listener to remember and understand.

  • Literal meaning of the phrase
The dictionary definition of 'astute' means cunning, crafty or witty, whereas 'observational' means that they are in the act of observing or viewing. Therefore, it literally means a cunning observation. Certain examples of astute observations are also known by the term "aphorism".

  • Famous examples of astute observational powers
Throughout the years, some of the finest examples of aphorisms have gone down as some of the most frequently quoted snippets of wisdom. Some famous examples of these include:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" - Lord Acton
"Failure to prepare, is preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." - Albert Einstein
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity." - Albert Einstein

  • Who is likely to have astute observational powers?
Most people have the ability to make astute observations from time to time, however those who use the skill frequently in their profession include:
- Stand up comedians, particularly those in observational comedy, such as Robin Williams, Eddie Izzard, Billy Connolly, Bill Hicks and Chris Rock
- Political commentators (but by no means all)
- Newspaper journalists and columnists (but by no means all)
- Writers, particularly travel writers or comedy writers.
- Cartoonists
Amanda Wells Profile
Amanda Wells answered
If you are astute you are sharp-witted, observe things closely and make clever analysis of what you notice. So if you are an astute observer, you not only see everything, but you make good use of what you see too. The grammar of the question is not quite right, though - a person can be astute, but powers can't. You could speak about 'well developed observational powers' though.

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