My Really Good Halloween Costume
Sometimes it's fun to be the only one who gets my "joke."
Take, for example, the "Halloween Costume" that I wanted to have this year. It is still just an "idea" because we haven't had time to do anything like celebrate holidays during the "final stretch" of our engagement. Also because Murray's "best" friend didn't put on his annual Halloween party after all, so we had no chance to dress up.
But if I had been able to dress up, my costume would have been so "nerdy" that no one would have gotten it. Still, I would have enjoyed knowing that my "costume" was actually very funny and very clever. Here's what it would have been:
I would have been "Scare Quotes." I would have put little quotation marks on either side of my head (with wire, coming from a head band or something). And then, any time anyone asked me what I was, I would have said, "I'm scare quotes. BOO!"
And then, unless I was at an editing party with editors only, the person would politely laugh, even though they didn't get it. And I would laugh. But maybe then I would get tired of the fact that my geniusness was not being appreciated by anyone. And I'd have to keep explaining (after my joke) what "scare quotes" are. Or maybe I just would hand out this excerpt from The Chicago Manual of Style before saying, "I'm scare quotes. BOO!"
"Scare quotes." Quotation marks are often used to alert readers that a term is used in a nonstandard, ironic, or other special sense. Nicknamed "scare quotes," they imply, "This is not my term" or "This is not how the term is usually applied." Like any such device, scare quotes lose their force and irritate readers if overused.
written by Cicada on Wednesday, October 31, 2007