Air quotes

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“So you think I'm 'notable,' do you? I need a drink.”
~ Oscar Wilde on air quotes

“Testing, testing, 1-2-3, Judy Dench huffs babies, over.”

~ Leonardo DiCaprio on tactless test sequences

Air quotes are the main mechanism by which famous authors, comedians, actors, and other personalities get their best quips and one liners into print. Until the invention of the air quotes system, which by chance coincided with the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrities were forced to suffer through not having their witty remarks recognized just because they "said them when no one was around" or "wrote them in a novella the publishing house rejected." However, the air quotes system is commonly satirized in the media, which draws unfavourable comparisons with the present state of television broadcasting and home-phone bugging technology. The value of being barraged by the whimsical offhand remarks of your Kevin Federlines and your Adam Sandlers 24 hours a day is also frequently questioned.

Shockingly, some academics still do not even recognize air quotes exist. These ivory tower brainiacs limit the definition of air quotes to "bunny ears pretentious people make when they say something remotely ironic." The academics espousing this view are clearly irrational. Everyone knows that these gesticulations are only shadowy imitations of genuine air quotes, made by celebrity wannabes with no promise or integrity. If not by air quotes, then how are celebrities supposed to make their views heard? Did Oscar Wilde say, "Now ladies and gentlemen, I desire to gather a group of twelve or so of you together tomorrow at 1:00 such that I might set down a few of my choice phrases on child-rearing and the state of politics thence to be republished in student agenda booklets and on inspirational posters"? No, that makes very little sense at all, if any.


The moment Jessica Simpson has a ditsy thought about marrying a boy toy and breaking up with him two months later, her thoughts billow out in a cloudy quotation form. Growing to enormous sizes, the cloud of text scuds out over the countryside and urban landscapes, settling over the largest nearby population centre, ready to be seen by thousands of nobodies. Here they are viewed and laughed at by non-notables and reporters alike, and her crush proposes marriage just to get his hands on that sweet silicone. Another tragically unentertaining love triangle has begun.

Blast, Bill Gates is visualizing his money collection again.

Frequently, celebrities are devoid of depth and self-reflection to the extent that their remarks, rather than being extremely vapid and self-aggrandizing, have absolutely no content at all. These air quotes are commonly referred to as clouds. Another interesting fact: rain is actually the tears of famous people, while lightning is their rage. Celebrities are terrifying because of their lightning-charged hissy fits, although because of their fickleness the lightning never strikes the same spot twice. William Shakespeare first documented the phenomenon of tumultuous weather accompanying distress of the sovereign (for the king or queen was the only celebrity at the time) in his play Cleopatra, which he wrote the Sunday after meeting with an eccentric cross-dresser from Egypt going by the stage name of "Julius Caesar." Always with a flare for the classic, that man/woman. The existence of air quotes is thus proof of the Divine Right of Kings, and therefore the Queenie and her band of tabloid-making horse riders ought to be the sole rulers of the United Kingdom.

Occasionally a rapper's "hating" and egotism cause an air quote to descend to the ground, where it is known as a "fog quote." It may seem at first glance that the large number of shipwrecks caused by fog obscuration were due to the fog's obscuring effects, as it tends to obscure even the least obscure of foggy land masses. Not so. With today's modern gadgetry, this could never happen. The only explanation is that the fog fills the sailors' minds with addling tracks from R. Kelly and Eminem, until they steer their ship into a lighthouse pylon simply to escape these pyrrhic incests of rhythm and the spoken word.

Fans suggested an air quote for this city name-bedazzled star.


The only reason mass hysteria doesn't set in when mere mortals look upon the musings of bad actresses in towering letters is the clever myth of "skywriting," conceived by Adolf Hitler in 1941. Hitler created the myth, then known as "Dach Autlercloudenkriegen," to address the obvious danger of air quotes on his secret military plans being intercepted by cloudcatchers in Great Britain and used to compromise the war effort. The stupid British government of the time had instigated a policy of believing every statement issued by the German government, thinking it imprudent to disregard intercepted German messages after the nuclear war incident of 1940. As a result, the myth persists to this day and is enforced by an old mobilized detachment of MI6 that was never informed World War II had ended. It is actually rather surprising that citizens do not catch on, considering that the proposed mechanism, involving something about biplane exhaust and loop-the-loops, could never possibly work; the sky writing would obviously sink and turn illegibly distorted.


There are several notable examples of well-known people using or misusing air quotes for personal gain. For example, the late Oscar Wilde once blew forth this air quote:

I have nothing to declare except my genius and this band of printing racketeers holding me hostage. Help!

This use of air quotes completely explains why such a small percentage of celebrities have been murdered. Even with famous singers placing dozens of country-home decoys all over the world which are left uninhabited, and the finest in security personnel, one would think that successful fan assassinations would succeed routinely. This seldom happens because the notable individual can exhale an air quote to call for help. In fact, there is speculation that those celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe, who were killed, probably weren't notable to begin with.