SOL #15 Other words for “creepy”


A friend of mine on Twitter raised this question:

““Creepy,” when used to describe invasive practices, is insufficient and problematic, but “performance of information asymmetry” doesn’t quite have that ring. What’s a great replacement?”

He received lots of responses including: extractive, exploitative, invasive, insidious. Actually, it’s a great vocabulary exercise. My favorite response however, offered an image that is beyond sticky:

“Creepy is good but it’s the affect/sentiment/feeling of the subject or observer. Creepy signals the behavior is out of context. Clown emerging from car at the circus vs Clown emerging from closet in your bedroom.”

Can you see it? Oh my goodness, I can! Clowns tumbling out of a tiny car – hahahahahaha! Clowns rolling out of my wardrobe into my bedroom …. *insert scream emoji*.

I responded to the clown tweet suggesting that this comparison deserves a meme. It’s brilliant.

I love the way language can work – send us on a journey around the conventional and land us firmly in the spooky.  I’ll be on the lookout for creepy clowns all day.  This is also how Twitter feeds me. We can talk about how and when and if that’s a good thing.


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