Comments in Translation

May 12, 2008 at 10:03 pm (Writing)

I came across the following table in the May/June 2004 issue of Poets & Writers magazine. It translates other writers’ comments for when you go to a writing workshop. Quite useful!

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WHAT A WRITER SAYS WHAT A WRITER MEANS

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“I loved the language” English was a good choice

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“This is very ambitious writing” You really aren’t good enough to pull this off

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“The prose is very clear and concise” You wouldn’t know a metaphor if it bit you on the ass

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“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this” It made me feel much better about my own writing

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“This is very unusual and original work” You frighten me a little

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“This story shares similar themes with your other work” Please stop writing about your relationship with your father

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“It’s very confident writing” You’re completely deluded, aren’t you?

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“This needs to be pushed further” Like off your desk and into the trash

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“I don’t like the title” I didn’t actually read your story

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“I love the title” I didn’t actually read your story

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“This is very polished” Plagiarizing again?

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“There’s not enough at stake here” But I’d sure like to burn your story on one

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“This is the best thing I’ve ever read” Will you sleep with me?

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“This is brilliant” Please?
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1 Comment

  1. Makena Ringera said,

    In defense of writers, we pick up this kind of standard commentary from other more-knowledgeable writers. Being sophisticated. Ooops!

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