April 10th, 2007


a query

(*=edit to clarify)

Recently looking at communities on Livejournal, I have seen something that puzzles me. I keep seeing people using 'critique' where I would use 'criticise' * ie in ways like "I don't mean to critique your pictures, but I think you should get them printed at a better lab* . It mainly seems to be people from the US doing this, I'm from the UK.

For me:
Critique:an in depth review and analysis of work, particularly art, literature or related areas ie the critique of sculptor's exhibition focused on the context of the new pieces in the work as a whole

Criticism: finding the faults in things ie the main criticism of the book was that the plot was flimsy * or in terms of literary criticism, which encompasses critique

The OED gives me:
noun: a detailed analysis and assessment.
verb: (critiques, critiqued, critiquing) evaluate in a detailed and analytical way.

This gives me one of several options:

a) It's a regional difference in usage I had just never noticed before
b) I am making a really pernickety distinction that no-one else bothers with
c) People are just picking the word that looks clever and misusing it

Which is it?
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