I need a positive word to describe a person who usually sets a lot of rules for himself and also for others and always adheres to his rigid principles. For example, a man who is always punctual, keeps promises, avoids what he thinks they are hamful to his health, so on.


What is wrong with principled?

principled (adj) of a person or their behavior acting in accordance with morality and showing recognition of right and wrong

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A stickler is a person who insists on behaving a certain way (usually adherent to a fixed principle or set of principles).

Definition: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/stickler


A person who insists on a certain quality or type of behaviour.

‘he's a stickler for accuracy’

‘I'm a stickler when it comes to timekeeping’

So you can say (for example): "He's a stickler for punctuality." and so on.

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    I think sticklers often impose their expectations on others, not just themselves. – Barmar Jan 26 '18 at 8:00

I'd call such a man disciplined (or self-disciplined if I wanted to point out that they're setting the rules for themselves). Scrupulous is also a good word to point out their strict adherence to rules.

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"Rigid principles" might convey some negative connotations about the person to which "perfectionist" might be a suitable description, but we are asked for a positive word. I suggest "conscientious": SOED: "habitually governed by a sense of duty; scrupulous."

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    Yeeeesss, but what else is relevant or worth knowing about it in this context? When might it be useful and when not? Why? Please edit to explain things more helpfully. – Nathan Tuggy Jan 26 '18 at 6:19

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