My tenth grade English teacher would have been proud to see so many Americans using punctuation in their sentences on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I think she would have been dismayed to view how exactly folks are relying on punctuation to make a point. Punctuation talkers, as I like to call them, are visual learners. They picture something in their head, like how a sentence might look on paper, and then describe it to a “T.” For example, a co-worker recently described her job title to me as, “I am a Personal Assistant SLASH Work Wife.”
When I was growing up, my mother liked to really emphasize her point when she was upset with me by saying, “I mean what I say … PERIOD!” When she said PERIOD, I knew she meant business. For some reason, I don’t think it would have carried the same meaning if she would have said instead, “I mean what I say …. SEMI-COLON!”
And then there are those people who use air quotes while they’re talking more often than they change their underwear. No one demonstrated the improper and overly annoying use of air quotes like Chris Farley when he played Bennett Brauer, the fabulously quirky character who provided commentary for Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. Brauer would rely on finger quotes for every point he made including I lack “style” and I have no “charisma” or “self-esteem” and finally, when I sleep, I “sweat profusely.”
I hope you laugh along with this terrific video of Chris Farley at his best. In the meantime, enjoy my blog SLASH on-line journal and if you think I’m not AIR QUOTES the norm AIR QUOTES, don’t email me … PERIOD.