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Aerial can serve as either an adjective or a noun. As an adjective, one of its meanings is in the air. This is not to say that the meaning is “up in the air,” as in not yet finalized, but rather that whatever you are talking about is floating around or flying around in the air.

If you are engaged in aerial activities it’s best that:

  1. you are only a little ways off the ground,
  2. you are in a fully functioning aircraft of some sort, or
  3. you have a fully functioning parachute securely strapped to your person.

Otherwise, you are probably going to die. This has been a public service announcement.

Still as an adjective, aerial can also mean without substance, although it’s not usually used to describe someone’s mind, appropriate though that may be for some people.

Another use of aerial as adjective to say that the noun it modifies references an aircraft. For example an aerial water bomber is a plane used for fighting fires or for having the world’s biggest, most expensive water fight.

As a noun, aerial can be a synonym for antenna. In these days of cable TV, internet and internal antennas in cellphones, kids today probably have no idea what an antenna is. Don’t tell them. That’s at least one thing we know that they don’t. It may be the only thing, and it’s not much, but at least it’s something that we can hold over them, thereby allowing us to say, “Hey, punk. You don’t know everything.”

Aerials can also refer to acrobatics that involve spending some time in the air, possibly performing stunts like somersaults. In addition to floor-based acrobatics, this can include acrobatics done on skis, snowboards and skateboards, among other insanities.

I’m told that these sorts or aerials can be fun until someone breaks his or her neck and dies. I’ll have to take their word for it, because I intend to never find out for sure.

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