The long overdue death of finger quotes in my repertoire

You know finger quotes, those bunny ear motions you you make with your index and middle fingers to denote that what you are saying is “in quotes”.

Last night I watched Matt Lauer’s Dateline interview with Brittney Spears. Oh don’t judge…you’re so glib. There was nothing else on TV and I was curious. I lost count of the number of times Brit invoked the finger quotes, for emphasis, rather than, you know, actually quoting. Kind of when people say “literally” when they mean “really” or “very much so” because what they are saying is so not literal (“smoke literally came out of his years”, etc.) or the much used “ironically”, which is usually attached to something not at all ironic and probably only mildly interesting (like rain on your wedding day). The worst part is she got Matt Lauer doing it too. Misused affectations are funny to me (but really, et tu Lauer?).

I’ve been a frequent user of the bunny ears in the past and having cut down on their use, have decided to go cold turkey after last night’s interview (though I insist that I have only used them responsibly when placing a phrase in quotes, I swear). I’ve also decided to give up chewing gum during interviews, like literally.

Comments (8)

  1. TravisOwens says:

    I think the movie Austin Power’s really showed how silly finger quotes are when Dr Evil talked about his "laser" beam.

  2. unpradeep says:

    Watching Dateline interview with Britney Spears on a Thursday nite??

    Allow me to quote Maximus (The Gladiator)

    <Bunny ear motion>

    Are You not Entertained??

    </Bunny Ear Motion>

  3. Life lessons from celebrities?

    "It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others."

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    TravisOwens-I am sure I’m one of about 3 people left in the US and Canada that has not seen Austin Powers. I tried but I couldn’t make it through the introductory dance sequence. “Ironically”, same situation with Moulin Rouge…lasted about 7 minutes before my eyes started rolling toward the back of my head (no, not literally).

    Pradeep-anothe joke I’m not in on, I suspect. But I actually did find the interview quite entertaining. And I found going on TV to talk about how you want the media to leave you alone very….(wait for it)…ironic!

    Nathan- how cheery! ; )

  5. Deb says:

    OK.  I admit it.  I flipped between the interview and a cheesy movie that was on one of those channels way, way up there.  

    I saw enough to swear off gum-chewing forever!

    Unfortunately, as a southern-born woman, it also made me notice that the accent is creeping back in and that I must watch my diction.  (And no.  I never rode in my parents lap while they were just, "ya know, drivin’…we’re country folk".)

    All the best!


  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Deb- my dad used to "let me" steer the car from the passenger seat and we ain’t even country. You know the whole point of the kids riding in the parents lap is that they think they are driving. Sean Preston doesn’t even know he has feet yet so I am not sure how he thinks he’s driving. That’s not country, that dumb.

    I’ve  luckily lived enough places that my accent is pretty neutral but every once in a while a midwesternism, or even worse, a Californiaism sneaks in. I like a nice accent though. Makes people interesting.

  7. Dennis says:

    I would like to create this things called a "laser"

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    Let me guess…more Austin Powers?