<Beat>

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Autumnwhispers, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Autumnwhispers

    Autumnwhispers Senior Member

    Tehran
    Presian
    Hello,please someone could tell what is meant by the word <beat> in the text below? does it mean the drums beating in the show?
    The writer is talking about a TV personality who has a talk show and here in the text talking to the audience:

    " Okay. We all know where the butter is, don't we?
    ( a little smile)
    the butter is in the refrigerator.
    (Beat)"

    From Heartburn by Nora Ephron

    Thanks
    Autumn
     
  2. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    In the theatre, this word has two meanings:

    A brief pause
    A section of a scene with its own distinctive structure and rhythm.

    Here it is clearly the first that you need.
     
  3. Autumnwhispers

    Autumnwhispers Senior Member

    Tehran
    Presian
    Thank you Keith for you reply. But a little further in the text mentions pause: " I don't see it any where." ( Pause)"

    What do you think?
     
  4. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    It's not a reference site, but TV Tropes has an excellent definition of "beat" in this sense:
     
  5. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    It's a matter of personal judgement. For me, a beat lasts about a second; a pause can be much longer, and I have seen one which lasted more than 30 seconds (which seems a vast amount of time on stage).

    (Cross-posted with POB14)
     
  6. Autumnwhispers

    Autumnwhispers Senior Member

    Tehran
    Presian
    Thank you all Keith and Pob :)
     

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