I read Bored_Homeschooler's most recent post here with some interest; most particularly their first point about using terms like 'spooky' and 'morbid' to describe Goth culture, which Homeschooler finds irritating. Whilst I personally find some enjoyment in cutesier terms like 'spooky' (what? you noticed?) I am well aware that not everyone does so I can understand this point of view.
(A note: I'm going to talk mostly about the term 'spooky' in this post since I overuse it terribly, but I checked the definition of 'morbid' as I wasn't sure why some Goths may object to its use. Turns out that whilst I had been thinking being 'morbid' - a descriptive term I tend not to use that much anyway - meant something along the lines of being interested in dark, gloomy or odd things and particularly those related to death and the macabre, the actual definition runs something like this (from Google): "1. Characterized by or appealing to an abnormal and unhealthy interest in disturbing and unpleasant subjects, esp. death and disease. 2. Of the nature of or indicative of disease. Synonyms: unhealthy - diseased - unsound - ill - sickly." I think that most Goths, when using the term, are not actually attempting to indicate that they are abnormally interested in disease, or worse, unhealthy. :-S Something to bear in mind, perhaps?)
Anyway. Bored_Homeschooler spake thus on the use of the word 'spooky': "This really bugs me. I'm used to hearing those words (in reference to Goth culture) being spouted out of 12 year olds, but it is a bit odd to hear a full grown adult using such terminology." As the most common criticism of this blog is that I scatter terms like 'spooky', 'spookycute' and 'ooky-spooky' around like confetti, I felt a tiny bit embarrassed (I even have it in my blog header; I have actually been searching for a more appropriate word. 'Goth' is not quite accurate, 'dark' and 'macabre' don't quite fit the bill either - any thoughts?) and thought I would clarify a few points about what I mean when I use the word.
'Spooky' is not synonymous with 'Goth'
It's an overly cutesy way of describing certain facets and emblems of dark culture that I happen to personally hold affection for. Bauhaus is Goth; an overwhelming fondness for Halloween decor and cartoon bats is spooky (or what I think of as spooky, anyway).
Also, this probably goes without saying but terms like 'spooky' are not supposed to be used in a serious manner. Even I would give a wide berth to anyone who introduced themselves with, "I'm Bob and I'm ooky-spooky." It is intended to be tongue-in-cheek; 'ooky-spooky' in particular poking gentle-but-affectionate fun at those of us who have bat-print PJs (again, ahem) and really do utter phrases like 'every day is Halloween', e.g. those who are all-cutesey-goth, all-the-time.
Yes, I like the term, and yes, I feel it neatly sums up some of my interests in a certain bracket, but I will try not to use it quite so much if people are finding it a bit too twee.
'Spookycute is not a legitimate style of anything'
This is not really related to Bored_Homeschooler's post but I couldn't resist bringing it up; it's a comment I got on a post a few months ago when I described my preferred style as 'spookycute'. It's not my word, I found it on the web somewhere (probably Gothic Charm School) and I liked it. I like to think it sums up my love of pink, candy stripes, tiny hats and Halloween motifs in one simple, more-sickly-sweet-than-Count-Chocula label - although, like 'spooky', it's not the kind of term everyone will appreciate (I see you rolling your eyes, OddGhoulOut ;-)). I reiterate: I like overly cute things but it's not a 'Goth' trait and it's not for everyone. I apologise to those of you who would prefer to see terms like 'babybat' banished to the back of beyond.
But, I would like to point out that I am not overly concerned about whether or not spookycute (or anything for that matter) is a 'legitimate' style. It's a word that I found (and still find) amusing and somewhat apropos; I'm not proposing that we all run away together and create a 'spookycute subculture of darklings'. I am really not worried about being a legitimate anything, or whether anyone else thinks a style is legitimate.
So, what do you lovely people think? Do you use the term 'spooky'? Is it time for this blog to go on a 'spooky' diet? XD