Friday Find: (More Than) Seven Deadly Words for Book Reviewers

I’m sure that it’s a good sign that so many readers (more than 200 when I last checked) have been moved to reveal the words they most loathe seeing in book reviews in the comments section following Bob Harris’s Paper Cuts post on “Seven Deadly Words for Reviewers.” (For the record, Harris’s own seven selections are: “poignant,” “compelling,” “intriguing,” “eschew,” “craft [used as a verb],” “muse [used as a verb],” and “lyrical.”) I mean, it’s nice that so many people actually care about the craft. Right?

But heap on all the added outlaws, and a reviewer facing four current review assignments (that would be yours truly) might become, well, a bit intimidated. Perhaps even blocked.

I’ll try not to let that happen–and I’ll try as well to avoid some of the worst offenders in my writing.

Hope you all have a great weekend! (Practicing Writer subscribers can look forward to receiving the April issue of our free monthly newsletter tomorrow–so of course it will be a great weekend for them!)

P.S. I’d like to welcome all our new blog readers arriving at Practicing Writing via Jeffrey Yamaguchi’s excellent 52 Projects. Please come back often!

6 thoughts on “Friday Find: (More Than) Seven Deadly Words for Book Reviewers

  1. B.J. Epstein says:

    Thanks for the link to that article. I posted a comment there, which I will post here as well.
    As a translator, I hate when reviews don’t mention that a work is translated or who it was translated by. When that pertinent fact is actually mentioned, I hate when the words “fluid,” “fluent,” or “reads like an English original” are used, or anything along those lines.

  2. Erika D. says:

    Great point(s), B.J.

  3. KATE EVANS says:


    totally overused as to be meaningless

  4. Erika D. says:

    Thanks, Kate. Yes, that does seem to be one of the overused!

  5. Diane Lockward says:

    Erika–Just found another site for prompts. Do you know this one?

  6. Erika D. says:

    No, Diane, I hadn’t seen that before. Thanks for pointing it out.

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