To me someone who is “quirky” is a person who feels invested in somehow being “different” or “strange” when in fact they are neither of those things, and that sense of investment is in fact just reinforcing normative paradigms.
Wes Anderson’s work, to me, is the quintessential quirk.
Whenever I hear the word “quirky” I think of the really short girls in my high school class who made “sideways parentheses as eyes” anime happy face part of their flirting repertoire. So whatever it means, it’s not a good thing.
THE “NEGATIVE CONNOTATION” THAT MOST PERSONS ASSIGN TO THE “TERM” “QUIRKY” IS DUE TO NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD, WHICH THEY USE TO REFER TO THE “DISINGENUOUS”/INSINCERE “IDIOSYNCRASY” OF THE MANY “MOVIES” THAT IMITATE THE AUTHENTIC “STYLE” OF “MOVIES” BY AUTHENTIC “AUTEURS” (e.g. WESLEY ANDERSON, SOFIA COPPOLA, MIRANDA JULY.).
The metaphoric meaning of “quirk” (“a peculiar trait” [Webster’s]) has by now been augmented and even, in hipoisie circles, overtaken by the connotation of ‘disingenuous outlier, affectation’.
To assume that this latter sense is intended in ignorance of the judgement-neutral figural meaning is not rationally warranted. It’s far more reasonable to assume that people who use “quirky” to asperse are doing so knowing that their usage is a twist on the word’s earlier and kinder connotation — that’s what gives the (cheaply?) snarky use of the word whatever power to insult that it has.
Since we’re talking movies, how about The Coen Brothers? Their style is “quirky”, with the exception of all but their most
somber movies (No Country For Old Men and Blood Simple are not that
quirky, but Fargo and Miller’s Crossing are very quirky). I don’t think most
people would attach the negative connotation, though.
it means unique / going by its own cues, but is condescending
esp if the speaker just isn’t familiar with the person’s concerns or lifestyle
like one day this guy asked me what i was doing and i said depositing a check for my mom
he replied “quirky” in total earnestness