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.


Murray Terreno di Amore said...

You are"hot". I am very excited to "marry" you on "Saturday".


ambrosia ananas said...

Love it.

Mr. Fob said...

I think your "costume" idea is very "clever."

AzĂșcar said...

I would totally "laugh" because I actually "own" three style manuals.

Of course I never actually "use" them because editing is for "nerds."

It occurs to me as I sit at my own desk that you would get a kick out of my costume this year. Maybe I'll send you a picture.

Squirrel Boy said...

I won't "mention" the scare quote t-shirt idea Cicada came up with, because that would be "sexual harassment."

Rachel said...

Haha! Awesome! As somebody who belongs to a bowling team made up of professional writers and editors called the Split Infinitives, trust me when I say that you would have spent all night explaining your costume.

Scare quotes are entirely "overused."

Th. said...


You should vote for this guy.

Anonymous said...

Hello! The idea of a "Scare Quotes" Halloween costume popped into my head last weekend, but I'm not entirely sure yet how to pull it off. I thought I'd Google "scare quotes halloween costume," and this post was pretty much the only related response. So did you go for it? I was pondering the quotes headband idea, as well as writing "scary quotes" on my clothes as well, such as, "Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the President of the United States of America, Sarah Palin."

Happy Halloween again!


Cicada said...


I didn't do it last year because it was so close to my wedding that I was too busy with wedding things. But I would have done the headband idea and just worn black.

I wouldn't wear a shirt with scary quotes written on it because that would cause confusion between what "scare quotes" and "scary quotes" are. Go simple. Good luck!

Shaunna said...

Thanks for the perspective, Cicada. I look forward to trying this costume out tomorrow. Congrats, and happy one-year anniversary!