Thursday, September 3, 2009

Is Bearshapedsphere snarky? Quirky? Squarky?

Is it snarky? Am I snarky? Do I care? Do I have a tendency to spin things just the way I like them and ignore the rest?

Probably, maybe, not really, of course. In that order.

Though I'm not sure it will help my "save the snarks" tshirt campaign, I will divulge that I wrote this possibly snark-containing piece on cringeworthy neologisms, or as the editors prefer to call them, Travel Neologisms, WTF on MatadorNetwork. In it I talk about travel-related frankenwords that give us pause. (momcation? staycation? gaycation? emesis basin, stat!)

It's a funny thing for me to do, police other people's language use. On a daily basis I transgress rules of speed and continuity, go off on wild tangents and violate basic rules of grammatical kindness, on the word level, inventing new ones, using obscure ones and carving them up how they suit me and on the sentential level, engaging in parenthetical hijinks heretofore unknown.

But people hate a poorly-created neologism, and I know know it's true, as I see this article retweeted here and there. They also love their own neologisms, or ones where they insult people, with particularly strenuous arguments supporting touron and also suggesting citiots (for idiots who come to to the city, presumably, and not people who give out undeserved citations, though I am not completely clear on this). I guess it just goes to show that people don't mind change, so long as it makes them look good.

Which vaguely sets me in the right direction to tell you something that I recently told a friend, and about which she was shocked. I used to write, um, professionally. About the law and stuff. "Can you write regular stuff?" she asked. By regular, I think she meant not snarky. I guess it's like making cookies. I can, it's just not something I often do.

And while this article is not melty or crispy, nor hot just out of the oven, or even off the Internet presses because I wrote it over a week ago, and does the internet really get hot?, it represents a side of me that I may not yet have shown here on bearshapedsphere, and in the interest of disclosure on my terms, and no one else's, I present this article on What's going on in Chile, or a little piece I wrote on the Chilean elections, also on Matador Network.

If I compare the relative immediate popularity of articles I've had published in the last week or so (judged by all the latest social networking methodology plus phone calls n emails n stuff), I learn that people really like snark, but not as much as they like food (that fruit article on bootsnall was widely smiled upon), but they like both of those more than they like politics, particularly foreign politics.

But I'm still not sure that snark is the right word. It seems so negative, so hatery (See? invented word!). I prefer quirk. But in the end, I'm not sure that I love quirk as much as I love food, though I do like it more than I like politics.

And in other unrelated news, when I mentioned to a friend that I came home last night at 2 AM to find my neighbors in the hallway dressing the upper 3/4 of a mannequin in women's clothes, she asked me if that was going to appear on the blog. And in thinking about it, that's really a better example of quirk than anything I do or say here. But perhaps if I mention it, it ups my quirk quotient, which can also be expressed as the square of Q.

So in the interest of word surgery and neologisms and (as is generally the case) apropos of nothing, I propose the word squarky as my new adjective. It's almost as hard to pronounce and explain as the bearshapedsphere story. Having hereby established said word, I wonder what it tastes like. And after that, who it would vote for.

4 comments:

Annje said...

You are funny, chica! I loved your article, snark and all. I must not get out enough though, because I have never heard any of those terms, but would be annoyed if I did.

I would like a "save the snarks" t-shirt if you ever make a batch.

Margaret said...

Well I like your snark, and I like your quirk... can you do snirk? quark? (no, that one's taken)...
But what I would really like is to see that mannequin in the night piece come to light! (although that really kinda sounds like more kink that quirk!)

Eileen said...

Thanks Annje, and maybe we should make such a shirt. I have a friend who has a pretty well-established tshirt n things business (if you've seen the zombie bookmarks in Books A Million, that's her) at ilikeseamonsters.com I could ask her if she's interested in the shirt. Always has good designs that one.

Margaret, their intentions towards the 3/4 mannequin (oh! sad, footless mannequin) seemed generally pretty much on the up and up, but you never know with these barrio brasil dwellers. Ahem.

angryredhead said...

I love your writing. And "snark" is better than "bitter"...which tends to turn up frequently in my blogs. ;)