Thursday, January 24, 2008


Tonight at dinner, I had turned to help Donovan with something while Ainsleigh was talking (something about a book she was reading) and as I turned to look at her, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.

Me: Ainsleigh? ... (wondering if I saw what I thought I saw) ... did you just use air quotes?
Ainsleigh (eating her dinner now): Uh...yeah.
Me: ...??? Why did you use air quotes?
Ainsleigh (does a one-shoulder shrug): Because I wanted to?
Me: Ok...but it doesn't really fit with what you were saying.
Ainsleigh: Oh. Ok. So when do I use air quotes?
Me:... ... uh ... ... hmm... ... well...

Approximately 17 minutes passed (give or take) before I finally had to admit I wasn't sure.

Me: Well. It's like. When you're saying something, but being kind of funny. But not. But it's for when you're saying something that you don't really mean. But it's not a just kidding kind of thing. Oh never-mind. Use them when you want.

How DO you explain proper air quote usage to a five-year-old? In the wise words of Donovan, "Oh jebbuh-mind."