A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Time For a Coffee Break!

Reading/Book Pet Peeves

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Barney girl:

--- Quote from: Petticoats on May 18, 2013, 03:22:29 PM ---I have a question about what seems to be the latest writing pariah. A couple of times recently I've come across writers commanding other writers to never, ever, on pain of death, for the sake of all the little puppies, etc., never use the "said George" word order in a dialogue tag, as opposed to "George said."

"Why not?" asked Isobel.
"I dunno," said George.

I honestly never thought much about it until I encountered these rants; so many books I've read in my life used that construction that I never thought it would be such an irritant to some readers. In my writing I tend to alternate the two (said George, George said), but if that word order is causing readers to break into hives, I'll start making an effort to avoid it. Is it a big deal to any of y'all?

--- End quote ---

On a slightly different point. When I was in junior school we had the lessons on not always using "said", so that we would learn to be more expressive in our writing. Our teacher was rather taken aback when I brought in the book I was reading, as the author used nothing but "said". It was "The Midnight Folk" by John Masefield, who had been Poet Laureate. I suppose that just goes to prove that when you get to a certain level you can break all the rules you want.

pierrotlunaire0:
Going back a few pages (and a few years), I was mightily peeved when The Girl With The Pearl Earring was re-issued to tie in with the movie release.  The reissue had a picture of Scarlet Johansen and Colin Firth snuggling closely together.  First of all, nothing like that takes place in either the movie or the book, so it is completely misleading.

And just what was wrong with the original cover, which had the actual painting on it?  You know, the subject of the book?

LEMon:

--- Quote from: Barney girl on May 19, 2013, 01:17:19 PM ---
--- Quote from: Petticoats on May 18, 2013, 03:22:29 PM ---I have a question about what seems to be the latest writing pariah. A couple of times recently I've come across writers commanding other writers to never, ever, on pain of death, for the sake of all the little puppies, etc., never use the "said George" word order in a dialogue tag, as opposed to "George said."

"Why not?" asked Isobel.
"I dunno," said George.

I honestly never thought much about it until I encountered these rants; so many books I've read in my life used that construction that I never thought it would be such an irritant to some readers. In my writing I tend to alternate the two (said George, George said), but if that word order is causing readers to break into hives, I'll start making an effort to avoid it. Is it a big deal to any of y'all?

--- End quote ---

On a slightly different point. When I was in junior school we had the lessons on not always using "said", so that we would learn to be more expressive in our writing. Our teacher was rather taken aback when I brought in the book I was reading, as the author used nothing but "said". It was "The Midnight Folk" by John Masefield, who had been Poet Laureate. I suppose that just goes to prove that when you get to a certain level you can break all the rules you want.

--- End quote ---
Interesting point of view from the teacher.  I'm reading "How to Write" books.  Most recommend using 'said' most, if not all the time.  TV Tropes has a page on the (overuse) of non-said phrases.  Seems it is one of those things that can be argued for either one as the rule.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SaidBookism

ladyknight1:
Books where the author provides intricate driving directions. I just read two different authors that did that!

TootsNYC:

--- Quote from: Twik on January 29, 2013, 12:08:23 PM ---
--- Quote from: Lynn2000 on January 28, 2013, 06:56:27 PM ---I dislike stories that depend on a lot of miscommunication among the characters--I read fiction for escapism, not to experience the things that irritate me in real life! :) I always liked how, in Harry Potter, the first thing Harry, Ron, or Hermione did upon learning a new bit of information was to tell the other two, so they could all try to figure it out as a group. (At least that's how I remember it.)

--- End quote ---

Well, I often found myself shouting at Harry, "Go tell Dumbledore what you just learned!" However, I don't think that's unrealistic; children (particularly children with bad experiences with adults, like Harry) often don't consider adults as confidantes. It's as though childhood and adulthood are two differents worlds. Harry is more forthcoming with adults as he gets older.

--- End quote ---

Plus, it would be a much more boring book if Harry did.

And in real life, kids often *do* think they have to cope with stuff themselves. Look at all the kids who are being bullied who never tell their parents.

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