Attack of the Killer Air-Quotes

Friday, December 05, 2008 | Labels: , | |

Let's take a little peak into the mailbag . . .

Dear HTF:
So what’s the deal with “air quotes”?  If you’re trying to “make a point”, don’t “air quotes” just distract the person you’re “talking” to?  Didn’t John McCain learn this “lesson”?  Or am I just easily “distracted” and should instead “get back to work” and stop sending silly “questions” just so I can “share” my inane “comments” with the “blogosphere”?
“CM”

I feel like a little "context" or "history" might help here.  Air Quotes, which I will call AQs for the rest of this post because I work in corporate American and anything worth saying has to be made into an acronym, actually originated at the time of Noah.  Yes, the one with the really big zoo-on-a-boat.  See there was a guy at that time named Philanthropus, who obviously went by Phil, who was Noah's next-door-neighbor.  When Noah started telling everyone about the rain, repentance, and stuff, Phil was  really skeptical, and he also happened to write for the local paper, which was a tough job since paper hadn't even been invented.  Anyway, in the paper he would quote Noah often, constantly making fun of him, showing mocking skepticism, and taking his words out of context.  (If Phil would've survived the little flood, his descendents would all work on cable news today)  Phil was asked to speak arkto the town and in his remarks we see the first documented use of AQs.  He felt the need to distinguish the psycho-babble of Noah about a "coming storm" from his own words.  And the AQs were his tool of choice. 

So we have "good-old-Phil" (good name for a rock band) to thank for introducing this nice little non-verbal messaging device.  History will remember him for AQs, but it won't remember him for being a particularly strong swimmer.

Thanks for the question, CM.  Hope you think about Phil whenever you drop AQs on folks.

Send your questions/comments into henrythefrog@gmail.com.  I promise to do my best to either answer them or write something totally unrelated to what you ask.

2 comments:

  1. JJ says:

    How do you come up with this stuff? Really. I'm quite impressed. You always "entertain." I sure wish I had an "interesting" question you could "expound" upon but I'm just not that "creative."

    Love the comment about Phil not being a strong swimmer. Classic.

  2. Marie says:

    do you usually "peak" into the mailbag, or would "peek" be more appropriate? :)
    I agree with JJ. Your stuff always makes me laugh!

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