Friday, March 19, 2010

FACT or Air Quotes

Let me preface this by saying I don't watch a lot of late-night TV (or any), so it's possible this might be old news. Sorry if that's the case.

But has anyone noticed the steady uptick in the use of "FACT" to introduce statements in television dialogue? It's in commercials, TV shows, movies...

For example, Richard and I love watching The Office, and our favorite characters are Dwight and Andy. Oh, and Darrel. And Erin. And that whole love triangle involving Angela was just classic good TV.

Anyway, the episode where Jim dresses up as Dwight and imitates him had us rolling on the floor, and a big part of it was Jim's using "FACT" to start each of his statements to Dwight. That's what started us discussing this phenomenon. (Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.)

I was trying to remember the first time I ever heard someone say "FACT" followed by a statement. Richard said it was in the movie Philadelphia with Mary Elizabeth Masterintonio (whatever).

JRM: (high, girly voice with fake Southern accent) Fact. Tom Hanks gave everyone in his law firm the AIDS.
LTM: She said that?
JRM: I don't remember.

I never saw that film. So for me, it seems like the first time I remember hearing FACT was by Owen Wilson's character Dignan in Bottle Rocket.

LTM: (best Owen Wilson impersonation) Fact. Mr. Henry uses The Lawn Wranglers as a cover operation.
JRM: I like the Future Man part the best.
LTM (best Future Man impersonation) Look at this guy. He looks like a little banana.

The point of our discussion was whether FACT could take the place of air quotes in making statements funny.

For those of you who missed it, a while back someone noted that the use of air quotes around a word, any word, in a sentence, immediately made that sentence funny.

Try it. Here, I'll give you a sample. Say this sentence out loud and hold your hands up to make air quotes where quotes are indicated:

My mom said she's bringing her "dog" to the vet today.

See? And it really doesn't matter where you put the air quotes either. Try moving them to "vet." Still funny.

So would it work with FACT? Hmm... maybe not. But I'm still enjoying the use of FACT by various characters in comedy. Or maybe I'm just a nerd.

FACT: I think it's funny because I am a nerd.

(I don't know... it might be funny!)

Have a great week-end guys! FACT: Spring starts tomorrow. I'll have a fun, new post for you Monday, and hopefully some news on Debut Novel. FACT: I have heard nothing back on full MS requests.

(OK. I'll stop now.)


JRichard said...

Fact: Philadelphia had Mary Steenburgen Danson, not Mary Louise Mastroantonio. Fact: I hope the weather is not too nice in NY or LA for these folks to read some good new fiction. Fact: Some people think air quotes are "bunny ears."

LTM said...

Fact: I told you I never saw that movie.
Fact: You are a nut, and I love you. ;o)

Ex-pat Odessa said...

Fact: You guys are funny!

LTM said...

awww... Fact: Italy's next~