Raymond's Weblog^

Speaking in Dactylls

Speaking in dactylls is somehow quite freeing for me: it’s sufficiently easy that I can still mostly convey what I want without needing to backtrack too much, but it does mean that sometimes I have to consider exactly what word I would use.

And I think this is part of what makes things like poetry nice: there’s of course some specific connection in poems (or good ones at least) where the structure reflects and enhances the content, but also, the sheer act of writing within a constraint is a way to demand more attention and care in the words that you use.

I suspect that it also does something like scattering noise in the meaning whenever you actually don’t end up using whatever selection of words would be obvious, natural, whatever. But often I think it just makes you think harder about what the nuance is.

Maybe there’s also a third thing where much of what’s hard when you’re writing (moreso at the start) is just writing a draft down at all, just committing to something that you can revise, and for me, weirdly, writing in dactylls removes at least part of the friction. I don’t quite know why. Maybe all my attention is focused on writing at all but inside the constraints of the form.

I suppose I should try to experiment more.