As was post on 10 Feb 01
in the news group dm.chaos.one-beat at dm.net.
1. What's up with this place?
In this group, all posts must be in words of one beat. Words with two or more beats are bad words; in fact, they're so bad that most folk just can't read them, and you'll be asked what you meant to say.
Look a close look at the words in this post -- they each have just one beat. That's what I mean.
3. Yes, but why?
It's a game, of course. You do it for the fun of it. The best thing is, when you pull off a post that has no bad words and yet it's full of grace, with not one phrase forced or stiff. It's hard to do, but when the words flow off the screen with the swoop and pace of speech, then you know you've done well. And that's fun.
Hint: The more you do it, it gets less hard. Don't feel shy if it feels like your posts lack all grace. Jump in.
4. What's with all the verse?
As you might guess, all the more than just one post, a thread of talk back and forth can hard to keep up (all the more so when no one talks back -- nudge nudge). So from time to time, folks will take a well known verse or piece of prose, and put it in words of one beat. It's a set, small thing to do. And if you can pull it off with the beat of the line and the rhyme the same as it was, that's some feat. And if you can give it the same grace and force the first one had -- that we clap. Loud and long. That's part of the game.
Some hints, for those who want to try their hand: Just as when you take a work from one tongue to the next, don't go word for word. The trick is to get a phrase with the same sense as the first, with the same grace, in words that are your own.
5. What are the rules? I mean, can I use a dash?
Ah. Well. We've talked this through for some time, and not all see things the same way. For the dash, to take one thing -- I am one of those who hold that if it's a dash that binds a phrase that acts on a noun, one that's there just to make it clear it's a phrase and each word does not each act on the noun, that it's fine. Some think it's a cheat. All sides say, tho', that a dash that binds a two-part noun is Right Out. That's just a bad word.
Words from strange tongues are not as hard to judge. If you use it when you talk out loud, you can use it here. Thus, you might get to use "sans."
Then there's words like "poem" or "hour" -- are they bad? In verse, they're said to have two voiced sounds slurred to one beat. Is that how they're said out loud? "Our" is for sure a good word -- is "hour" said the same way? This, too, we still hash out.
Feel free to jump in and add your two cents. Or three. Or ten.
6. How do you count past ten?
Beats me. Not with grace, that's for sure. Ten more, and you can use one score and three, and the like, but that, too, is not so great. If you do find a good way, please, let me know.