16 March 2010

The most rollicking, unflinching, unputdownable post ever

My friend Anna linked to this great article "Book Review Bingo," in which the author not only identifies the top critic clich├ęs but assembles them into helpful bingo cards for your perusal of, say, the Sunday books section of your local newspaper if you still have one.

I have definitely used some of these. A good number, which I will not go back and count because I feel too embarrassed. The only one I can honestly say I do my best to avoid is "unputdownable," because that is not a word. I just spotlight-searched my computer for it and I promise, it didn't come up

(Sidebar: I recently heard someone use the word "learnings" so many times I thought I was going to pass out from rage. As in, "From working with widgets for a while, I have a lot of learnings to share with you." No you DO NOT. You have lessons to share with us, or you learned a lot to share. Of all the fake words I've heard in my life I think "learnings" is the worst.)

Even through my shame I can admit that this article is dead on, and yet I have no defense. Is it because we are all striving to be mini-Kakutanis and are imitating the same small pool of critics a bit too slavishly? Is it because we don't allow our editors to tell us hard truths about how to avoid staleness? I hope neither of these are true, but for myself, I can only hope to write the next one better.

1 comment:

Marjorie said...

A lot of these are just single words. Can one word be a cliche?