Philosophers and Linguists
I once read that it was used systematically by a well-known logician or linguist (Tarski? Chomsky?) in the 1950's to convey in lectures the use of a quoted linguistic expression as a name for its own form, i.e. " 'snow' " means the word "snow" whereas "snow" refers to the substance snow.
Does anyone have a source for this? It would give some weight to the history of this sign well before its passage into popular culture. -- 18.104.22.168 (talk) 07:25, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I would have thought that the likeliest origin for air quotes is Victor Borges visual punctuation. -- 22.214.171.124 17:18, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm a German native speaker, and I've never seen any of my fellow speakers using an "inverted hand" to mimic German-style quotes, and the whole idea seems pretty silly to me. I'd say this is an urban legend.
- I agree, there should be some reference to Austin powers. That movie really boosted the popularity of air qotes--126.96.36.199 (talk) 13:03, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
- I think WP:V needs to be considered. I've never seen it, at least. Codster925 (talk) 04:42, 21 January 2011 (UTC)