Here’s the previously promised rant “Critique v Critic”. I was going to let this rest a while before dragging it kicking and screaming onto the page, but I’ve had something of an epiphany. So now, this will be in two parts – first the rant (lets me vent my spleen) about the difference between those two similar sounding words.
Kriteek and Kritik phonetically speaking, of course…
Critique : Noun
A detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory.
Critique : Verb
Evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.
Keywords : analysis, assessment, evaluate
Critic : Noun
A person who expresses an unfavourable opinion of something.
A person who judges the merits of literary or artistic works, especially one who does so professionally.
Keywords here : unfavourable opinion, judges.
In critique there is no “judgement”.
So, what is the difference? Got any examples?
Oh, sure I have… here are a few extracts from a “critic” – not naming names ’cause the person involved swiftly removed both their review and my response immediately after I replied. Don’t know if it was anger, or embarrassment caused it, and I don’t really care because that person was so busy “stroking their own ego” that I almost called the police to stop their “lewd behaviour”.
Example 1: Critic
….the last phrase of this chapter, mentions “the” trap. Pronouns have to have an antecedent, that is to say, something that comes before. The purpose here seems to be to create an interest in the next chapter. I see a contraditction there, in that the hook is based on something that just isn’t there. It’s like we’re be told to read more so we’ll get the hook.
Note the wonderful spelling associated with this – kinda funny, huh?
Example 1: Response
To respond to the issue you raised – in the absence of alternates the use of the definite article is acceptable. If I say “close the door.” and there is only one door visible to you, it must be that door I am referring to – in much the same way that I refer to “the trap” having been sprung in my chapter. There are no others, are there?
Was I too cruel to correct his misconception? Was I rude?
Example 2: Critic
So now, the reasoning for the easy flow of information between the Knight and Jerome is crucial to the safety of the kingdom. Just seems like an ex-post facto rationale. But it explains why character development is subordinated to plot.
Example 2: Response
Who the f*ck do you think you are, “ex-post facto”?
I can see this person puffing out their chest and striding backwards and forwards in front of a full length mirror, grinning inanely at their own image as they chew on a thesaurus (dictionary-like book, not dinosaur).
The arrogance and condescension in this critic’s tone is what gets my dander up. The works that I reviewed by return were way less eloquent than their criticism of my works and I had to waste a couple of pages “politely” explaining where things were wrong, what things were wrong and how they could be fixed.
In response to a “critic” I performed a “critique”. Although, because my dander was up, I stooped to a little (very satisfying) retaliation. ** Hangs head in shame – and to hide mean smile **
So what’s the good part of this rant?
Something that was triggered by a very simple e-mail that said “thanks for sticking with this the whole way through”.
I joined the story late, but since joining I have endeavoured to continue to review the chapters as they are submitted. The author expressed their gratitude in that simple, single sentence e-mail.
When I replied with the equivalent of “you’re welcome”, I came to realise the full benefits of performing the continuous review of a book. The author gets reviews and a fresh pair of eyes – already understood.
I get the opportunity to practice those skills that are essential for me to produce much better writing. I get to be a “grammar nazi” and a “punctuation proctologist” (not as bad as they sound really – I am nice about it), I get to follow character development, to learn to perform continuity checks, to take overviews and all of these things directly benefit me in the execution of my craft.
In a way, I should be thanking other authors for allowing me to practice my skills on their work.
Therefore, fellow authors and critiquers, I thank you all for your submissions and for your patience in allowing me to hone my – previously blunt – writing tools.