Comedy·GRAMMAIR

We get the point, air quotes. Here's how to use other air punctuation.

Air quotes are satisfying and useful conversational tools. But I regularly jolt out of bed at 4 a.m. drenched in sweat because of how much air punctuation we’re not taking advantage of.

Air quotes are satisfying and useful conversational tools. But I regularly jolt out of bed at 4 a.m. drenched in sweat because of how much air punctuation we're not taking advantage of. What's wrong with us? This problem is so easily solved. Here, look: I've solved it for us. Period.

AIR ELLIPSIS

When you want to be mysterious with what you're saying and really leave your listener wondering, simply hop three hops to the right. Do it slowly and dramatically. Make your hops as big and loud as possible. OPTIONAL: say "DOT DOT DOT" as you hop.

AIR QUESTION MARK

Longing to express your uncertainty? Contort your body into a pleasing curve — that's the top of the question mark. To indicate the dot, simply kick over the nearest object with your foot.

AIR EXCLAMATION MARK

If your statement needs a little oomph, reach your hands up to the sky so that your body is a long skinny tube. Jump precisely one time. Do it suddenly. Deeply startle your listener.

AIR ITALICS

Perfect for sarcasm or emphasizing an important point. Say what you're saying, but say it while you lean a tremendous amount to one side. Try to lean as far as you naturally can without holding onto any surfaces for support. But be cool. The effect will be ruined if you fall down.

AIR ALL-CAPS

Need to make your point forcefully and memorably? Saying something where there's simply no room for dissent? Climb up onto a higher plane. Like a desk, table, or mountain. Shout your words from on high.

AIR SEMICOLON

We didn't forget about you, Professor. Carry a golf club and golf ball with you always. When you want to indicate an air semicolon, casually swing the club (that action is the shape of the comma) into the ball (that's the period) and then sail on over into the next part of your very insightful sentence.

AIR PERIOD

This one's just a somersault. Curl yourself into a tight ball, flip over once, and BAM: that's called the end of a sentence, pal. Deal with it.

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Illustrations by Brandon Hicks

About the Author

Sophie Kohn

Writer/Producer

Sophie Kohn is writer and producer with CBC Comedy, a stand-up comedian in Toronto, and a graduate of Second City's Conservatory program.

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