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Cliches in reviewing

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#16 canbelto


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Posted 08 July 2011 - 12:16 PM

How about "promising debut"? "Polished and professional"? "Pleasing"? Also, every star of a certain age becomes "beloved."

#17 Quiggin


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Posted 08 July 2011 - 12:47 PM

"plucky" - "sassy" - "mincing"

The Times used to use horse metaphors a lot in the nineties - "filly-like" and "coltish" - and even once saying that a dancer (Lindsay Fischer) had finally "earned his spurs."

"Iconic" is used everywhere and is pretty deadly. It wants to mean classic. In architecture I always think of it an iconic building as so rudimentary – such as the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco - that you can conjure up all its meagre effects in your mind without ever having to visit it. Whereas with good architecture - or art - you are always surprised by what it has to say each time you see it.

I think "frisson" is used in art criticism where two genres or two techniques are used and certain overtones come out unexpectedly.

"Plangent" is beautiful sounding - but it slows down the sentence for me and I have to think about it.

OT: I'm sad that "sea change" became a cliche and its meaning was reduced to "complete change" rather than the original more evocative transubstantiation into "something rich and strange." I blame the on US mid-term elections of 1996 when Republican spokesmen used this term over and over in interviews to signal the final overthrow of the Roosevelt era.

Particular ways of turning in air, unique to a dancer, seem hard to describe - writers seem to pass over those in silence.



Also, every star of a certain age becomes "beloved."

Yes, Nikolaj Hubbe most recently, at least by two reviewers – which sort of diminishes him.

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