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Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Trenchfriend, Oct 13, 2019.
Coca-Cola thought so too.
May the forth be with you..!!
That's my wedding anniversary.
The fourth is strong with this one...
Unfortunately the mantra of our modern world is "be busy", and if you can't be busy, at least act like you are busy. Because if you do not appear to be busy, someone may think that you are a candidate for redundancy. But we should not associate pausing with stopping*. Two very different things.
* Sounds like either a Yoda quote, or a Winnie the Pooh quote!
Remember when computers and fax machines and other inventions not yet known were going to do our work for us and we would all have much more leisure time? Waiting.
" People say nothing is impossible but I do nothing every day." - Winnie the Pooh.
Shakespeare wrote in a system of scansion, a method or practice of determining, graphically, of representing the metrical pattern of a line of verse. When Shakespeare doesn't want the scansion to come out right, he leaves a blank -- indicating a pause -- in the line. Most directors hate pauses, but sometimes Shakespeare wrote them in.
Most actors know that Shakespeare usually wrote iambic pentameter, or five iambic feet per line. When he varies from that standard, he's trying to get your attention. In this example from Othello, Brabantio, Desdemona's Father, complains about his daughter's elopement (Act 1, Scene 3
"I had rather to adopt a child than get it.
Come hither, Moor.
I here do give thee that with all my heart."
You can see that the middle line is much shorter than the others -- two iambic feet instead of the usual five. If Shakespearean text were music, we could say he has written in a pause for Brabantio. The rhythm of the iambic pentameter goes on, but Brabantio has no words to put on top of it, why not?
Othello must respond to Brabantio's summons and cross the stage to him. Perhaps only when Brabantio has taken the hands of Othello and Desdemona in his does he continue. And Shakespeare wants the Moor to cross the stage in scary silence. We don't know what Brabantio will do when Othello is within reach; he might pull out a fine Venetian dagger and stab his his daughter's new husband to death. As a Father, he's always been overly protective.
There you go, nothing philosophical about The Bard, he uses the pause to great effect.
Or as Mark Twain put it a little more succinctly; " The right word may be effective but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause."
Twain knew the value of silence as a tool, among others he is quoted as saying: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt." Sound advice for some of the high profile Twitterers. There are those that argue that the remaining silent quote is really credited to President Lincoln, but in fact you can find it almost verbatim in the bible. Look up Proverbs 17:28. "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue."
When it comes to 'the pause,' my headteacher was a past master at it. He would have some recalcitrant schoolboy standing before him, the boy would be burying himself with lame excuses, whilst the headteacher would simply allow his spectacles to slide to the end of his nose, he would then hold eye contact with the boy over the rim of his specs. I tell you, that look, that stare, that pause, it was pure napalm.
Nobody ever paused more effectively than Jack Benny.
"Your money or your life!"
"I'm thinking it over!"
I was thinking "Jack Benny" and you beat me to it...
Other collective masters of the pause were the Marx Brothers. They had honed their live acts and comedy to the point that they allowed time in their movies for the laughter to start and finish before they went on to the next bit.
At the other extreme the makers of the movie "Airplane" left no time at all between jokes. I clearly remember seeing it for the first time and never cracking a smile. My laughter response time was longer than the time available between jokes.
However, the second time I saw it I laughed almost non-stop. My brain was anticipating the humor enough to "get it".
Jack Benny had comic timing down to a fine art. His used rhythm, tempo, and pausing, to enhance the comedy and the humour. The pacing of the delivery of his jokes had a strong impact on its comedic effect, even altering its meaning; the same can also be true of more physical comedy such as slapstick. Think Wile E. Cotote.
Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner are a pair of cartoon characters from Looney Tunes. In each episode, the Coyote repeatedly attempts to catch and subsequently eat the Road Runner, a fast-running ground bird, but is never successful. Instead of his animal instincts, the Coyote uses absurdly complex contraptions to try to catch his prey, which comically backfire, with the Coyote often getting injured in slapstick fashion.
The pause comes when Coyote knows the game is up and he's about to get his comeuppance. Seconds before the anvil hits him, he looks sideways on towards the camera, then, wallop, yet another brilliant idea backfires.