Sunday 5 August 2012

What the hell does quirky mean anyway?

Wanted: Quirky writer. Quirky actress. Quirky ideas. Quirky blogger. What the hell is quirky anyway? I swear I know fifty identical 25 year old brunette actresses who all style themselves as unique due to 'quirkiness'.

What does it mean when they say they're quirky -- that they're slightly annoying? That they sip green tea? That they watch 'Garden State'? I have no idea.

You see it in casting calls all the time. They don't want normal, they want QUIRKY!

I'm not immune. "We like your writing, it's quirky", they say. What the hell? If everyone is so damn quirky what is so unique about it?

People are so proud of it, too. They say "I'm sorry, I'm a bit quirky like that," and then smile as if they're a direct descendant of God.

I guess that's why I'm so resistant to being labelled 'quirky', because the quirky people are mostly annoying and self-important. The men think it means they're going to win Sundance, and the women think they're Zooey Deschanel.

Have you ever witnessed someone calling themselves quirky? It usually happens after they do something dull and boring, like smile awkwardly or deliver a joke badly. They fix their eyes on you and speak of their quirkiness.

A message to the quirky people: you're as dull and boring as the rest of us, just slightly more annoying. Snap out of it.

Care to share?


  1. I've never known anyone who described themselves as 'quirky,' nor have I ever been called 'quirky,' but I must comment to say I thoroughly enjoyed the tags on this post.

    And since you asked...
    'quirky (adjective): characterised by peculiar or unexpected traits.'

  2. I can't think of any recent movie character more quirky than Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky.

  3. it's the same in copywriting. 'the article needs to be user-friendly and quirky'. WTF?

  4. It's the same as being "weird"; if someone describes themselves as it, then they're clearly affecting it.

    (More script-related: when I did an MA in screenwriting we had a few sessions with a sales and distribution exec, who told us bluntly that in the biz, "quirky" was a synonym for "shit".)

  5. I don't mind 'quirky' - its better than 'interesting' or 'strange' or even 'scary'… Publishers, producers and casting directors are always after the latest thing. They believe in 'different' and 'new' whilst we who are on the creative side of things know there's very little 'new' around. We know we're just plagiarising but are good at making it look as if we're unique. (I'm having a cynical day)

    Helena xx

  6. Agree with this post so much! Have been told my writing is quirky at times too. It's an annoying note to get because, yes, what the hell does it mean?! Reminds me of the skit they do on SNL from time to time- "Bein' Quirky with Zooey Deschanel". Hilarious!

  7. I actually hate the word "quirky" and I hate myself for using it in some of my reviews. Sometimes I just can't get around it. It goes hand in hand with "hipster." Everyone that gets described as quirky gets called a hipster. It's just a nice way of saying "hey, your style is a little weird."

  8. oh it was pretty enjoyable reading this in the middle of the night :)

  9. I used to consider myself quirky and was repeatedly described as such. I considered it a nice way of saying that I was weird. Then, it became cool be be a little weird, so nobody was actually weird anymore and "quirky" just became a word to describe an unconventionally pretty girl with odd character traits. I'd no longer describe myself as quirky--just flexible, clumsy, and socially awkward--even though I do have an affinity for red lipstick and vintage dresses.

    Since it's now cool to be quirky, genuinely quirky people no longer fit the old definition of the word. Also, if I ever saw someone say "I'm quirky", I'd probably want to punch them in the mouth.

    I don't think I typed the word "quirky" enough in this comment. Quirky.

  10. Excellent post, Kid! I hate the abuse of the word "quirky" and hearing someone describe themselves that way is so annoying.

  11. I've never heard someone actually call themselves quirky, and I'd be immediately suspicious of them if they did. The thing that annoys about the persons who get labelled that (film characters) are often so inorganically "quirky: it becomes easily tiresome.

  12. What is normal anyway? Isn't it subjective? I like the word quirky because it stands for someone who does not give a hoot about what anyone else thinks about them. If everyone is wearing green, that quirky person may wear orange. All in all, quirky is someone who is not afraid to be themselves.