<D <M <Y
Y> M> D>

[Comments] (3) Guess The Verb! (It's "Said"): This has bothered me for a little while. In general, it's considered undesirable to use too many adverbs in writing.

He messily ate the sandwich.

But you can replace a generic verb with a fancy evocative verb that does the work of an adverb.

He assaulted the sandwich.

In fact, you can replace a whole clause (often including adverbs) with an evocative verb that conveys the same information.

He walked aimlessly around wandered the room.

Except when the generic verb is "said". Using fancy versions of "said" is "said-bookism", also considered undesirable.

"Just as you wish," he preened said.

And you can't use adverbs here either.

"Just as you wish," he said obsequiously

Hypothesis: by preventing you from describing the way someone says something, these rules force you to write dialogue that explains how it should be read.

"Just as you wish, O most esteemèd lord."


"Well," he said, "if such is my lord's wish..."


Unless otherwise noted, all content licensed by Leonard Richardson
under a Creative Commons License.