Dialogue tags: what to use instead of ‘ said’ ?

There is always a controversial argument in regard to the usage of the word ‘ said’ in a dialogue tag. Some eminent writers recommend using other words to bring out the emotion in the dialogue. On the other hand, some writers suggest that it will divert the readers.

Based on this two contrasting concepts, there are writers who follow both the types. The usage of other words instead of ‘ said’ would support the specialization of a story.

The following points would deal with the words which can be used instead of ‘ said’ in a dialogue tag.

DIALOGUE TAG:

A  dialogue tag helps to know who is speaking. It is a small phrase which is included in a sentence. It provides information ahout the speaker. This phrase is included in front of, or in between, or at the end of a sentence. The usage depends on the type of writing.

USAGE OF A DIALOGUE TAG:

A dialogue tag is used in three places namely,

  1. At the beginning of a dialogue
  2. In the middle of a dialogue
  3. At the end of a dialogue

At the beginning of a dialogue:

It is used at the start of a sentence.

It starts with a capital letter.

Example:

Rena said Ron, ” You look handsome” .

In the middle of a dialogue:

In this, the speaker is mentioned in between the sentence.

Example:

 ” Andy” , she said, ” I’m sorry. “

At the end of a dialogue:

The speaker is mentioned towards the end of a sentence.

Example:

” You’re are being so mean to me” , Sham said.

These are commonly used dialogue tags with the word ‘ said’ .

Apart from said, there are many dialogue tags which can be used. The writer needs to identify the proper dialogue tag and use it effectively in a sentence.

WORDS USED INSTEAD OF ‘ SAID’ :

There are many words which can be used in place of ‘ said’.

bragged complained threatened wailed confessed cried demanded denied giggled howled hinted hissed snarled sobbed inquired bellowed interrupted laughed lied mumbled nagged answered retorted pleaded promised questioned remembered replied roared sang screamed  requested shouted sighed muttered screeched warned  whined whispered whimpered acknowledged admitted blustered  agreed argued asked barked begged

These are some of the words which we use for dialogue tag instead of ‘ said’ . They are used as an alternative for the word ‘ said’.

CONTROVERSY:

Until today, there is a lot of controversial suggestions and impressions regarding the usage of the word ‘ said’ in a dialogue.

This controversy is still on the go towards bringing up the best dialogue tag. This controversy can be looked as a mean to improve the standard of writing in a story.

ADVANTAGES OF NOT USING ‘ SAID’ :

In a dialogue, if ‘ said’ is replaced with any other word, the following advantages are being faced.

The actual expressions of the speaker can be portrayed very well in a dialogue. The emotions which are to be conveyed by the writer can be conveniently made. Instead of using ‘ said’, other words can be used to bring out the potential feelings of the speaker. The thoughts and expressions of the speaker are conveyed directly by using other words in a dialogue. This kind of writing other words in place of ‘ said’ will make reading more interesting to the readers. It brings out the real potent of the speaker. This is how some writers justify their writing for using other words instead of ‘ said’, in a dialogue tag.

IMPACT OF NOT USING ‘ SAID’ :

Without using ‘ said’ in a question tag, there are other words to improve the quality of a dialogue writing. Apart from this, it is also found to divert the people from concentrating on the actual story. If a word is quite difficult, the readers get distracted to know the meaning of the dialogue tag. It is considered as a disadvantage of using other words instead of ‘ said’.

If a dialogue tag is cooked up very well by using any good quality words, it is made a best flavored cookie. It finds more good impressions over readers.

So, whatelse to point on?

A writer can use other words instead of ‘ said’ in a dialogue tag. But, the frequency of usage of complex words can be decreased which will fetch more attention by the readers.

He whispered in her ears, ” I need you” .

He mumbled to her, ” It is fearful” .

Like this, certain words are used instead of said to enhance the meaning of the sentence and the standard of the dialogue. Such simple yet meaningful words are used to replace the word ‘ said’ in a dialogue tag. It furbishes a dialogue and makes it meaningful.

Harini Shree

Harini Shree

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