Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the tag “Halloween”

Happy Cat-o-ween

Found these amusing black cats on Internet this week. Enjoy! Happy Cat-o-ween!

Photo: Life with Cats

Photo: Life with Cats

Greater Lafayette Cat Hospital, IN photo

Greater Lafayette Cat Hospital, IN photo

Cat found on Madison Johns FB page

Cat found on Madison Johns’ FB page

Zoie, owner of human, KarenRoseSmith.blogspot.com

Zoie, owner of human, KarenRoseSmith.blogspot.com

Photo: Cat Chat

Photo: Cat Chat

And here are a few children’s books. . .

Splat the Cat: What was that? Author Illustrator

Splat the Cat: What was that?
Author: Rob Scotton

Splat the Cat, Scaredy Cat Splat Written by Illustrated by

Splat the Cat, Scaredy Cat Splat
Author: Rob Scotton

Pete the Cat Author Illustrator Pete is not in Halloween costume, but he is a favorite of kindergarten children and teachers around the world.

Pete the Cat
Author: Eric Litwin
Illustrator: James Dean
Pete is not in Halloween costume, but he is a favorite of kindergarten children and teachers around the world.

And here are those kindergarten teachers who love Pete the Cat!

Pete the Cat teachers at Book-o-Ween, Hong Kong International School

Pete the Cat teachers at Book-o-Ween, Hong Kong International School

The Last Meow

Snarl! Happy Halloween! Snarl!  SSSST!

Gordon College 5-16-2013 040 - Copy

Meow for now.  =<^;^>=

Click here to read a post from Catster.com about why cats don’t like Halloween costumes.

“Scare Quotes,” “Zombies,” “Dracula Girl,” and other “Unnaturals”

This time of year can be quite “dangerous.” It’s “Halloween,” you know, and you never know “who” (or “what”) you will see out there in the “dark forests” and “cemeteries” on your “lovely” evening stroll. Take these two “zombies,” for example. They belong to the world of “unnaturals,” for sure.

Zombies--varnamszombies- varnams

They “pretend” to be “ghouls” or the “living dead.” But who knows, maybe they just like to throw “scare quotes” around and paint their faces with black, red, and white paint (with a touch of green, please) just to add “local color” in their neighborhood.

Okay, I admit it. These two are “relatives”…just showing their “true colors.” And, no, I don’t think you want to meet them. They are a bit, well… forgive me… “weird.” We can overlook their little “oddities,” okay? But the “scare quotes” (overused quotations marks) are another matter. They get annoying.

What are “Scare Quotes”?

Scare quotes use quotation marks around non-quoted material to emphasize selected words for specific purposes.

1. For (unneeded) emphasis. “Greengrocer quotes”

“Greengrocers” use quotes about their “fresh” veggies and fruit.

"Happy" Pomegranites on sale today!

“Happy” Pomegranates on sale today!

Like greengrocers, some writers emphasize commonly understood words in their writing by putting quotes around them.

Scare quotes. Photo by Savandyke.worpress.com

Scare quotes. Photo by Savandyke.wordpress.com

Our new filters use fewer chemicals and result in “better quality water” in the pool.
Sammy and Bill are joining “old” friends on their Caribbean cruise.
She calls herself an “actress,” but she has less talent than a string bean in a chorus line.

But these are not scare quotes at all. These are, plain and simple, overused and unnecessary, quotations marks.

2. To indicate a questionable term.

On the other hand, Journalists, editors, academic writers, and other writers use scare quotes to let a reader know that an indicated term is not being used correctly.

The writer may be saying, “This is not my own term, I am just reporting on it. I have no opinion about it.” Or, “The writer I am quoting is using this term incorrectly or it’s the incorrect term.”

“Climate warming” has been identified as the cause of all extreme weather occurrences.

3. To indicate irony or sarcasm 

Correctly used care quotes generally imply skepticism, criticism, disagreement, disapproval, derision, even contempt. They call into question the truthfulness of the indicated word.

My brother complains about the “food” at the hospital.
Al Gore “invented” the Internet.
The “generosity” of that philanthropist is notorious.

The words “so-called” can be used in place of scare quotes, but don’t use both.

4. “Sneer Quotes” and “Smug Quotes.”

Sometimes scare quotes give off a bit of a superiority or sneering tone, hence the term, “sneer quotes” or “smug quotes.”

 “Dracula Girl” (Photo Caption)   WRITHING UNDER a “vampire” attack. Clarita Villanueva, 18, of Manila (Philippines), is watched anxiously by the city’s mayor… as she is held by a police doctor and a nurse. For the past 17 days since she was gaoled (and later acquitted) on a vagrancy charge, mysterious teeth marks have appeared on   the girl’s arms during her struggles with the invisible “vampire.” The Barrier Miner, May 28, 1953.

Translation: Hahaha. You really don’t believe this stuff, do you?

5. To insinuate but not prove. “Smear Quotes”

Politicians use scare quotes or smear quotes when they don’t like the language of the opposing party. Jonathan Chait wrote in The New Republic that

The scare quote is the perfect device for making an insinuation without proving it, or even necessarily making clear what you’re insinuating.”

  • Liberal: We’ve heard about these conservatives and their tax “relief”.
  • Conservative: The liberals have proposed yet another form of “common-sense” gun control.

The downside of this practice is that it’s also a shortcut for the writers, allowing them to wallow in their ideological prejudices without spelling out their empirical premises. Jonathan Chait, “Scared Yet?”

Dan Bloom comments in his column entitled “‘Scare quotes’ having a ‘field day’ in the ‘media'”  in The China Post, September 29, 2012.

In the long run-up to the American presidential election this coming November [2012], an epidemic of so-called “scare-quotes” is turning political punditry and commentary into what might be called “a punctuation epidemic.”

So What? Who Cares?  “Irritation Marks”

Unnecessary quotation marks and scare quotes can become “irritation marks” to readers. If you write for a journal or newspaper, for your boss or your blog, or even for that little community newsletter, you need to be aware of how to correctly use quotation marks and scare quotes.

Avoid all unnecessary quotation marks.  An occasional scare quote is not bad. But when you use them so much that the reader gets irritated, that is not good.

One irritated Internet writer said it this way: “Scare quotes” “scare” the “hell” out of me.”

That’s how bad it gets!

Click on the following citations for more information on “scare quotes”:

Dan Bloom, “‘Scare quotes’ having a ‘field day’ in the ‘media'” The China Post
Johnathan Chait, “Scared Yet,” The New Republic
Daily Writing Tips, 3 Erroneous uses of scare quotes 
Grammar Girl, Quick and Dirty Tips single-quotation-marks-versus-double-quotation-marks
The Blog of Unnecessary Quotes.Com
Scott Thornbury, Q is for Quote Marks
Wikipedia, Scare Quotes
And of course, The Chicago Manual of Style.

And would you believe? Shakespeare supposedly used scare quotes.
Martin Harries wrote a book entitled, Scare Quotes from Shakespeare. Can you believe that? Check it out on Amazon.com.

The Last Meow

In the meantime, watch out for those “black cats” and those larger-than-life “conniving witches” in the woods. They can be “dangerous.”  “Happy Halloween”

Witches at Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ

Witches at Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ


Meow for now.  =<^;^>= 

For more Halloween fun, read more about these witches and other unnaturals on my previous posts:

Witches on the Prowl
Unnaturals Invade Grounds for Sculpture in NJ

Unnaturals Invade Grounds for Sculpture in NJ

Late October, 2013.

News Flash. Unnaturals (Spooks? Zombies? Undead denizens? Dead Denizens? Residents of the Deep?) have found their way onto the Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton, New Jersey.

2013-10-15 phone pics 106

The NJ State Police have sent out detectives to ascertain their purpose for being in these local woods. Perhaps these undead are looking for Dan Shamble, that dead zombie private investigator who still works for his living by solving strange murder cases…including his own. Shamble was last seen in Kevin J. Anderson’s book, Death Warmed Over. Just ignore that bullet hole in his forehead. Anyway, you hardly notice it when he pulls his hat down.

Latest news: The Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has asked the NJ National Guard for military reinforcements to protect the citizens of this great state. In the meantime, he has made a newsworthy public announcement in which he emphatically stated, “Hey, You. Whatever you are. Get the hell out of New Jersey’s woods!”

2013-10-15 phone pics 103

Are you brave enough to go seek these unnaturals out? Look in the bamboo grove at the Grounds for Sculpture, but enter cautiously. These unnaturals reportedly have supersensitive hearing and can smell aliens (that’s us humans) a block away. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

2013-10-15 phone pics 105

What? Are those horns on this unnatural? Is it … Satan… himself? In person?


Don’t miss this incredible landscape/sculpture park. It is beautiful, amusing, and surprising. You never know what you might find hiding in the woods or just standing out in plain sight.

I found a coven of witches there which I reported on here: Witches on the Prowl.

Here’s another (human) view of the Grounds  for Sculpture…before the invasion of the unnaturals: Traveltimetalk.com, Grounds for Sculpture.

The Last Meow

Those unnaturals don’s scare me. Let me have a go at ’em. I can get rid of ’em faster than Chris Christie can say, “Meow.”

Gordon College 5-16-2013 040

Meow for now. =<^;^>=

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