(Editor’s note: A reader, who is a fan of Ashleigh Brilliant (creator of Pot-Shots), has worked out an agreement with CTN that gives this newsletter the permission to use copyrighted Pot-Shots. Potshots remain the property of Ashleigh Brilliant. To view more about Brilliant, an author and cartoonist, click here.)
What are Pot-Shots?
Ashleigh Brilliant writes:
WHAT EXACTLY IS A “POT-SHOT” OR “BRILLIANT THOUGHT?”
Pot-Shots are epigrams, composed according to the following very strict rules.
The length must never exceed 17 English words. Note that this is a maximum. Some Pot-Shots are much shorter. Hyphenated words count as a single word.
Pot-Shots must be easy to translate into other languages. Therefore there can be no use of rhyme or rhythm, idioms, puns, or other word-play.
Pot-Shots should be capable of being appreciated in all times and cultures. Topical and cultural references must be avoided.
Every Pot-Shot should be as different as possible from every other one.
Every Pot-Shot must be totally original, and unlike anything else the author, or anyone else, has ever said before.
The words of a Pot-Shot must be able to stand on their own, and not require any illustration in order to be understood or appreciated.
Whatever is being said should be worth saying, and said in the best possible way.
NOTE: These are ideal standards, and I myself have failed to meet some of them occasionally — but in general I have adhered to them quite scrupulously.