Banish “said” from your vocabulary


‘I’m afraid she’s dead,’ unveiled the doctor. A silence settled on the room as the family took this in.
‘You’re sure?’ proclaimed Lois, quietly. The doctor nodded.
‘I’m terribly sorry,’ he conversed. ‘It was a peaceful end.’
‘Did she...’ Lois vocalised. ‘Did she have any last words?’
‘Yes,’ nodded the doctor, nodding. ‘She epitaphed a few words before she left us. “Tell my children I love them,” she stated. Then she recapitulated “all of them,” and shortly after that, she went.’
‘I can’t believe it,’ philosophised Lois. ‘I can’t believe she’s gone.’
‘I’m so terribly sorry,’ the doctor gushed.
‘Can I ask a question?’ questioned Lois.
‘Of course,’ dialogued the doctor.
‘If we had brought her in sooner,’ she began, ‘is there anything we could have done,’ she continued, ‘to give her more time?’ she concluded, questioningly.
‘I... I’m afraid not,’ the doctor ejaculated.

29 comments:

  1. I know I’ve covered this before, but the previous example wasn’t up to much, so here’s a new one.

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  2. One of my favorites is:

    "Shut up, he explained."
    -- Ring Lardner, The Young Immigrants, 1920

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  3. One I'm hoping to use is "'Get the f*** down!"' he hinted."

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  4. The stroke of genius is "she went."

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  5. I always like a story with a happy ending.

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  6. I love this! There's not a lot more that can be said.

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  7. This was great. I think I'd rather enjoy some more sequels.

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  8. I love this more than anything. I love it so much I may never say anything again.

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  9. "Shit! What about the will?" the man in the corner expectorated.

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  10. "Witty and informative," she drizzled

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  11. "'yes', nodded the doctor, nodding." A bit redundant, no?

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  12. You just made it doubly redundant by quoting it!

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  13. Have you seen the "Reasoning with Vampire" blog? Some of those are an exercise in banishing normal dialogue tags

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  14. I love Sherlock Holmes stories, but Conan Doyle did make poor old Dr Watson ejaculate all over the place. It makes for quite funny reading at times.

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  15. ‘Yes,’ nodded the doctor, nodding. ‘She epitaphed a few words before she left us. “Tell my children I love them,” she stated. Then she recapitulated “all of them,” and shortly after that, she went.’

    Hahaha! Perfect. I hate it when people use "nodded" or "smiled" as a synonym for "said."

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  16. I love how all the comments begin with ____ said…

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  17. Can't agree about use of "said". All the others you quote are full of attitude; "said" is invisible, modest, reassuring. The real alternative to "said" is a play script, where layout carries the meaning.

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  18. 'It's not fair!' stamped the child, stamping.

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  19. Sorry but some of your alternatives sound sooo bad, like you have a thesaurus beside you and you're just sticking in an alternative. I really don't think you need to use 'said' or whatever all the time sometimes the conversation flows so much better without it.

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    Replies
    1. "Clearly, you're not fully committed to learning to write badly well," the commenter accused.

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    2. Ha ha! That's what SHE .... ejaculated?

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  20. I was wondering when somebody would ejaculate.

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