Wednesday, October 19

"Air" "Quotes"

People use air quotes all the time. It's a great visual for communicating sarcasm and facetiousness. (One of the few big words I actually use, because it is awesome.)

Air quotes are generally understood.
Both how to be used and what is meant.

But when it comes to actual quotes in actual writing, the general population seems to be confused as to how to properly use them.

And it irritates me. A lot.

Generally, if you're not meaning to imply irony or sarcasm, quotation marks are for quoting someone else's text. That's it.

For example, numbers should not be quoted. Or a letter. Or a date. Or anything else that you wouldn't put in air quotes.

When reading a sign, if there are quotation marks around something, I mentally throw air quotes on it.

Such as:
Persons appearing under the age of "40" are required to show ID.
I read this is as if 40 was given sarcastically. And then it makes no sense. There is no need for quotes.
Meeting to take place in Gaylord Hall "D" at 8:00 am.
Why is D ironic? I don't know.
Michael's sale dates are "10/14/11" to "10/20/11" so come in soon!


Appropriate uses:
She said she wanted "more personal space." What does that mean?
 The phrase in quotes is a direct statement from someone else.
It wasn't funny as much as it was "funny."
The quotes give the word a completely different meaning. Sarcasm and irony and oh, I can almost hear the eye-rolling.

See the difference? No? Whatever.

Best use of air quotes ever: (skip to 4:11, watch until 4:19)

You try snapping with hooves. Tricky.

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