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Res Ipsa Loquitur

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Speaking of 'said' and alternatives, I want to express my distress over reading edited stories which have questions without question marks. I truly don't believe that writing the word 'asked' is a suitable alternative to a question mark at the end of a sentence.

"Are you still thinking about going to college" Williams asked. This is a perfect example of a 'cringe' sentence for me. Sadly, I've seen it the other way around too, as in "Yes, I'm still planning on college?" Doug stated. :huh: :huh: :lol::huh::lol: :lol:

I share your disquiet on this Trab. However in the first instance, I know from experience the omission of the question mark can be an accident during the rush to type the story.

As for the second, well that is a little more difficult to excuse, but could still be the result of a typing frenzy.

A good editor should of course have detected both.

I am much more disturbed by fonetic spelling errors than I am by a bad grandma. :huh: ....sorry~

Still I do think it is important to try to get the question marks in the right place. It breaks the ease of reading if they are omitted or misplaced.

:huh:

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I often have a problem with questions marks. Not in easy sentences like the examples Trab provided, but in more complex ones. Often, I'll have a sentence with a question imbedded within it, or at least with the question not at the very end of the sentence. Putting a question mark in the middle of the sentence doesn't work, unless I've used parentheses to sequester the question, and that's so disruptive that I almost never do so. I've generally solved this problem by simply letting the question stand without any marking, figuring the reader can work it out for himself.

Should I take an umbrella with me today, wondered George as he stood on his front stoop, watching the gathering clouds darken the horizon.

That's not the best example, but what I could come up with on short notice. If I re-ordered that and ended with the question, using a questions mark would be easy. This way, it always feels awkward.

C

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Actually, "said" is quite okay. Just don't use it a lot. Intersperse it with 'replied', 'smiled', 'laughed', 'yelled', 'whispered', 'uttered', etc.. :lol:

Personally, I've learned to ignore 'said Mr.X' in stories. Except when two dialogues follow each other with the same precedent.

'He said'

'She said'

Now that's irritating. :P

Yes, it is. It's even more irritating to read a story like this:

'He said'

'She said'

'Then he said'

'She said'

'He said'

'Then she said'

'Then he said'

'Again she said'

'He said'

'She said'

etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Ewwww!

Colin :huh:

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You're right, Colin. Anyone writing in all those "he said" and "she said" things without actually putting down what was said, should be castigated.

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I often have a problem with questions marks. Not in easy sentences like the examples Trab provided, but in more complex ones. Often, I'll have a sentence with a question imbedded within it, or at least with the question not at the very end of the sentence. Putting a question mark in the middle of the sentence doesn't work, unless I've used parentheses to sequester the question, and that's so disruptive that I almost never do so. I've generally solved this problem by simply letting the question stand without any marking, figuring the reader can work it out for himself.

Should I take an umbrella with me today, wondered George as he stood on his front stoop, watching the gathering clouds darken the horizon.

That's not the best example, but what I could come up with on short notice. If I re-ordered that and ended with the question, using a questions mark would be easy. This way, it always feels awkward.

C

In many cases you can write it as two (or more) sentences in one quotation:

Should I take an umbrella with me today? George stood on his front stoop, watching the gathering clouds darken the horizon.

It could also be enclosed in single quotes, indicating that this is what George was thinking:

'Should I take an umbrella with me today?' wondered George as he stood on his front stoop, watching the gathering clouds darken the horizon.

Colin :lol:

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Yes, it is. It's even more irritating to read a story like this:

'He said'

'She said'

'Then he said'

'She said'

'He said'

'Then she said'

'Then he said'

'Again she said'

'He said'

'She said'

etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Ewwww!

Colin :huh:

Believe it or not we actually used a script like that to teach actors to be aware of expression, pauses and ulterior motives in stage dialogue.

I don't have it any more but it was performed between two characters who had only a few more lines than what Colin has written. It usually ended up as a three or four minute short play for "show" night for parents and friends, often with hilarious and sinister overtones.

:lol:

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Yes, personally I've used italics to show characters' thoughts. A lot of stories use single quotes, bu I don't like them because they are oh so easily mistaken for actual dialogue.

P.S. My story posted here in AD, Downpour, has bold fonts used for thoughts. :huh: Not my original intention. :lol: It was actually a mistake on my part when I failed to edit the RTF file I sent to the dude. Hehe. I used bold fonts so I could easily identify which sentences have to be italicized when I'm actually posting it in BBCode. *sigh*

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