Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Mar 9 14:01:29 UTC 2006



neil <neil at TYPOG.CO.UK> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: neil
Subject: airquotes

OK, so we're all familiar with 'airguitar', but -- until coming across the
following -- I didn't realise there was a word for making 'digital
quotemarks' while speaking.

However, in a printed context, necessity gives rise to:

'Her mother was a waitress in those chrome-fitted fifties roadside diners
that have mostly been demolished now, except in states like Missouri and
Florida, where they've been preserved with a kind of airquote-irony she
doesn't take to.'
--Christopher Fowler, 'American Waitress' in 'Demonised: Short Stories',
Serpent's Tail, London, 2003, 125-126

FWIW, the same para includes:

'Her mother yelled the old diner slang -- Adam 'n' Eve on a raft, murphy in
the alley, shingles with a shimmy, burn the British, hounds on an island --
nobody uses that stuff anymore.'

All of which Barry no doubt already has.

--Neil Crawford

The American Dialect Society -

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