Last August a Berlin book launch event was cancelled unexpectedly.

By ‘a Berlin book launch event’ I mean ‘a book launch event that was going to be held in Berlin’. I say it like that just to be concise. Does it convey my meaning? And isn’t there anything wrong about its English? I am asking because there seems to me to be too many words in a row there, and I said maybe it is linguistically incorrect or not clear enough.


3 Answers 3


Yes and no.

Yes, it is grammatically and logically correct.

No, it is stylistically weak — the word event is superfluous. A launch is an event.

Less is more.

  • If somebody said that the book launch was cancelled (without event), one might wonder whether that means that the book is not coming out as scheduled, or merely that the reception, ceremony that was to accompany its appearance was cancelled (without affecting the actual publication). The presence of event in the original formulation reduces the likelihood of that confusion.
    – jsw29
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 15:38
  • @jsw29 — If it is really necessary to make that distinction then it should be rewritten in English: "an event in Berlin to launch a new book". The OP's accumulation of nouns as adjectives makes ambiguous reading (continued false scent) and is incredibly ugly. I could add this to my answer if you think it necessary, but I think it obvious. The launch of a book is equivalent to its publication, so if you wished to indicated that the book had been suppressed for e.g. legal reasons, you woulds say that the publication had been cancelled. Or I would.
    – David
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 15:47

I think the OP meant to write

a book launch

Difficult to know for certain when comments asking for clarification have been deleted and no one can ask the OP directly.

Books are launched, they are not normally eaten for lunch. Moreover, "book lunch" could also refer to making table reservations at a restaurant. Sometimes concision is not an improvement, and I feel this is the case here.

I've never heard of a book lunch to mean a formal meal where people gather to talk about literature or the release of a new book by a well-established author. Neither it seems has Google.

To avoid ambiguity, the OP could rewrite their original sentence as

Last August the event for the book launch in Berlin was cancelled unexpectedly.

  • 2
    This question is an excellent example of how unproductive it can be for moderators to disable comments. A simple typo that could have been easily dealt with in the comments and corrected before anybody answered the question, now had to be addressed in two answers.
    – jsw29
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 17:15

No, it really doesn't convey your meaning.

"Book lunch event", what does that even mean? An event where people meet and discuss books over a midday meal? What kind of books will you be discussing? What aspects of the books will you be discussing?

Did you mean launch instead of lunch? An event where you let the public know about newly available books that are just about to be published and sold for the first time? I suspect so, but I'm not sure. There's a pretty big difference between the two.

"Berlin book launch event" would make sense, if that's what you meant.

  • Yes. Launch is what I meant. So, ‘a Berlin book launch event’ is good enough. I mean ‘‘’a’’ Berlin book launch event.’
    – Sasan
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 15:00
  • Yeah, that would do.
    – Pete
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 15:44

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