June 30, 2000
Why You Can't Trust Letters of Recommendation
Friends use puffery and foes carry out vendettas -- while everyone fears lawsuits
Need to write a recommendation for someone going on the academic job market? Trying to decipher an outside review in a tenure case? Here are a few helpful hints:
"Good" does not mean good. It means hopelessly mediocre. "Solid" is shorthand for plodding and unimaginative. And "flashes of brilliance"