Oh boy, a short and controversial article? One that deals with semantics and definitions?
I see no way this could possibly go wrong!
So, if you’re a frequent user of the internet, you may have noticed that a lot of people call themselves reviewers rather than critics (me included), and some even go so far as to call themselves analysts.
Which got me thinking…what’s the difference?
Well, according to the dictionary, there isn’t. At least not much of one.
(Taken from Merriam-Webster)
One that reviews; especially: a writer of critical reviews.
One who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances.
A person who analyzes or who is skilled in analysis.
That’s a lot of overlap. In fact, most people tend to just use the words interchangeably. It doesn’t even seem like there’s a noticeable distinction between the three.
Well, no more!
Today, I will attempt to give each one their own proper definition. One that I’m sure none of you will have a problem with, or disagree with…at all.
I did say this was going to be controversial.
A reviewer will:
- Focus on relaying the overall plot, usually in a vague manner to avoid spoiling plot elements.
- Focus on personal feelings and subjective enjoyment, often using “fun” as a measurement rather than artistic merit.
- Usually focus on both the negative and positive qualities equally.
A critic will:
- Focus on finding negative or sub-optimal portions of a film/book/show.
- Be as objective as possible, avoiding emphasis on personal taste.
- Look at a piece of media as it applies to the medium it’s in, and how it compares to other similar works.
An analyst will:
- Analyze the art piece by piece, paying close attention to small details and character interactions.
- Have a larger focus on theme and context, rather than plot elements.
- Will often speculate on the intentions behind certain aspects of the film/book/show.
So, there you have it. A proper definition for each that is irrefutable, concrete, and iron-clad.
If you do feel like refuting me though, post it in the comments.
Till next time 🙂
Special thanks to: Collin Pearman and Dylan Alexander
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