View Full Version : So what do they REALLY mean?

09-22-2011, 01:14 AM
Ever wonder what the buzzwords editors, publishers, and critics use mean? Wonder no more: http://oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/40-publishing-buzzwords-cliches-and-euphemisms-decoded/ (http://oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/40-publishing-buzzwords-cliches-and-euphemisms-decoded/).

And for those of you too bone lazy idle to click the link :D:

“absorbing”: “makes a great coaster”
“accessible”: “not too many big words”
“acclaimed”: “poorly selling”
“breakout book”: “Hail Mary pass”
“brilliantly defies categorization”: “even the author has no clue what he’s turned in”
“captures the times we live in”: “captures the times we were living in two years ago”
“classroom-friendly”: “kids won’t read it unless they have to”
“continues in the proud tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien”: “this book has a dwarf in it”
“definitive”: “could have used an editor”
“an eBook original”: “still no proofreading and bad formatting”
“edgy”: “contains no adult voices of reason”
“epic”: “very long”
“erotic”: “porn”
“ethnic literature”: “stuff written by nonwhite people”
“frothy romp”: “funny book by lady” “Funny = funny book by a man”
“gripping”: “I turned the pages fast but didn’t read them”
“gritty street tale”: “Black author from the hood. Run.”
“I’ve been a fan of Author X for a long time”: “I slept with them regrettably, in MFA school.”
“lapidary prose”: “I did not know what half of these words meant”
“literary”: “plotless”
“long-awaited”: “late”
“luminous” or “lyrical”: “not much happens”
“magisterial”: “long”
“meticulously researched”: “overloaded with footnotes”
“memoir”: “nonfiction until proven otherwise”
“the next Elmore Leonard”: “This book has criminals or Detroit or maybe Florida in it”
“novella”: “short story with large font”
“a real tear-jerker”: “writing so bad it makes you cry”
“ripped from the headlines”: “no original plot line”
“rollicking”: “chaotic”
“sensual”: “soft porn”
“stunning”: “major character dies”
“provocative”: “about race/religion”
“promising debut”: “many flaws, but not unforgivably bad”
“unflinching”: “has a lot of bad words”
“visionary”: “can’t be proved wrong yet”
“voice of a generation”: “instantly dated”
“weighty”: “I had to lug this dense historical monster all over town and I still can’t bring myself to finish it”
“wildly imaginative”: “wrote book high on mescaline”
“a writer to watch”: “as opposed to one you are actually going to want to read”

09-22-2011, 06:03 AM
Thank you.

09-22-2011, 06:06 AM
We could add to it.

Trendy: "Has vampires in it"

09-22-2011, 11:45 AM

09-22-2011, 01:44 PM
“continues in the proud tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien”: “this book has a dwarf in it”

I lol'd.

09-22-2011, 05:51 PM
It's funny, but also terrifyingly accurate.

Lady MacBeth
09-22-2011, 06:05 PM
:tongueFunny, but true.

09-22-2011, 07:43 PM
Hahahaah. Back when I was working in the used book store, I found a book that had a blurb on it which described the prose as "lapidary." Being that I am a rock nerd, I actually know what "lapidary" means in all its possible connotations. None of them really made me want to read the book. Sealing the deal was an apparently totally serious photo of the author sternly contemplating his own hand, which was curled into a dramatically contorted pose. I lol'd. Oh, also the book cover looked like it was made in MS Paint by the left hand of a right-hand dominant seventh-grader. Nothing about the way this book was packaged made me eager to read it. The use of "lapidary" in the blurb was tops on that list.

If you can identify the author in a CP comment, you get a bonus cookie.

09-22-2011, 07:45 PM
...Now karma will dictate that if I ever sell a book to a publisher they'll slap a blurb on it that calls my prose lapidary at least twice.

09-22-2011, 09:47 PM
Your avatar is so lapidary it scintillates.

09-22-2011, 10:02 PM
:D at the voice of a generation one.

09-22-2011, 10:24 PM
"A visceral read": Has zombies in it.

09-22-2011, 10:30 PM
cerebral: impossible to understand

09-27-2011, 11:51 PM
“ripped from the headlines”: “no original plot line”
“stunning”: “major character dies”
“promising debut”: “many flaws, but not unforgivably bad”

:ROFL: *Cringes*

09-28-2011, 12:03 AM
I actually know what "lapidary" means in all its possible connotations. None of them really made me want to read the book.

A secondary meaning of lapidary is pertaining to, about, "of inscriptions." Since inscriptions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inscription) were laboriously chiselled to stone, a "lapidary" writing style is crisp, accurate, formal, and condensed.

Doesn't sound too bad...

Miss Plum
09-28-2011, 01:16 AM
“provocative”: “about race/religion”
Or last decade's political/social issues.

But let's not forget --

"compelling": has sex scenes
"stark": has sex scenes between people who don't like each other