Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [dialogue]

Questions about authored conversations between two or more people as found in books, plays, or films. Please use the "conversations" tag for natural spoken conversations

0
votes
1answer
25 views

What does it mean by the phrase “not my story to tell”

I recently heard the phrase in the season 3 of Blindspot series. One of the characters used this phrase: Well, if i knew it, i'd swear that i'd tell you, but it's not my story to tell, so, sorry. ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Citing Multiple paragraphs MLA

Had a quick question about how I should cite with multiple paragraphs (MLA). Here is how the text appears in the source (The Great Gatsby): 'An Oxford man!' He was incredulous. 'Like hell he is!...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Use of em-dash for interrupted speech when en-dash is style

I am working on a publication that uses the spaced en-dash – like this – to offset parenthetic content etc (instead of the closed em-dash). My question is, when faced with interrupted dialogue, do I ...
2
votes
2answers
23 views

Help with dialogue tags! [closed]

Should the sentence be: "What is this?" The man demanded. OR "What is this?" The man said demandingly. I was under the impression that you needed to have 'said' in the sentence for it to be proper. ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Formatting English Translation in Foreign Dialogue

This short paragraph of German dialogue needs to be translated into English within a larger work: “Zurück bleiben! Fenster schliessen!” Stay back! Close the window! shouted the man on the roof. ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Can action tags be punctuated like dialogue tags? [closed]

I have a habit of using action tags in the same way as dialogue tags. Example: "I don't know," she said. "I think not," he scratched his chin thoughtfully. "This could have gone better," ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Why do we structure dialogue/direct speech the way that we do?

I hate how we format dialogue. I believe convention has gotten too heavy and we need to think a little more about logic. That being said, my question, to be more specific, is asking about labels for ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Origins of the word “understand”?

I'm curious about the word "understand" and based on brief research its origins seem not very clear, https://www.etymonline.com/word/understand Breaking up the word in two, under-stand, I could make ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Should use third person or first person when describing someone's dialogue

Lets say I am describing the interaction between me and a friend (lets say John), to another person (Mike). If the interaction consists of John saying to me 'I don't know the answer, but you do'. How ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Can you add a colon before quotations instead of a comma? [duplicate]

Is it possible to add a colon instead of a comma before quotations? Like this: Person A said: "Blah Blah Blah." Not as in theatrical performance, but as used in an story.
1
vote
0answers
96 views

Is it correct to capitalize a pronoun's first letter after a punctuation mark in a dialogue?

"I wonder," I said to myself, "if there's a punctuation mark at the end of a dialogue, should I capitalize a pronoun's first letter?" "I don't know," someone in my mind said, "should we?" "Should we?...
7
votes
4answers
457 views

What does an ellipsis followed by an exclamation mean?

I'm confused about how to use "...!" in writing. Currently, I'm writing a fiction story with a character who has been critically injured. I got this question while typing out this: "I won't die yet....
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Relationship between topics and speech acts/dialogue acts in a sentence

I am still ambiguous about the relationship between topics and speech acts/dialogue acts in a sentence. Are the topics selected as conditional on speech acts/dialogue acts (or vice versa) in a ...
0
votes
0answers
74 views

Punctuation of a dialogue in a narrative speech

So I have this piece in which a person 1 is telling a person 2 a long story. On several occasions, the person 1 weaves in his own dialogue with a person 3 in his story. Obviously, I placed quotation ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

What does “two-meal” mean in “There's nothing that could get him away from that two-meal town.”?

It's a quote from the movie "The Godfather II", Tom and Frankie's scene: Frankie: Did my brother go back? Tom: Yeah, don't worry. Frankie: He's ten time tougher than me-- my brother. He's ...
-1
votes
3answers
5k views

Asgard is not a place, it's a people

In the movie Thor Ragnarok the sentence Asgard is not a place, it's a people. is used by multiple characters multiple times but shouldn't it be " Asgard is not a place, it's the people" Am I ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Comma both inside and outside quotation marks

Is there ever an instance where you might need a comma both inside and outside quotation marks? Consider this example: You might stand there and think to yourself, “Yes, she’s right, I am hopeless,”, ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

Quotation marks and types of dialogue

I'm editing the autobiography of a German-American woman who grew up during Hitler's reign. There are several instances where she uses quotation marks in a way that I'm not sure is correct. 1. Life ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Why does multi-paragraph quotation require successive opening quotation marks? [duplicate]

If the lack of closing quotation marks is a convenient clue for the reader that the quotation goes on beyond the end of the paragraph, then why add new quotations opening the next paragraph? Seems ...
1
vote
4answers
304 views

What's a verb that means “to say something in a singing way”

Imagine a dentist telling a small child to "open wide." He might "sing" it rather than say it, maybe by drawing out "wide" into two syllables, the first having a higher pitch than the second. You ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

Position of comma relative to quotation marks: “You're wrong”,… vs. “You're wrong,” [duplicate]

Below, I have written two sentences. Can you comment on the positioning of the first comma in each case. Are both sentences correct? "You're wrong", Eddie replied. "You're wrong," Eddie replied, "...
3
votes
1answer
771 views

What do the parentheses inside quotation marks mean in this Dickens quote?

Miss Havisham had seen him as soon as I, and was (like everybody else) afraid of him. She made a strong attempt to compose herself, and stammered that he was as punctual as ever. "As punctual as ...
1
vote
0answers
677 views

Is when're a proper contraction of “when are”? [closed]

I've seen that no contractions are used in formal writing. I believe "when're" tries to represent spoken casual English when it would sound like "when-er". Is "when're" ok in an informal text? For ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

How to punctuate interrupted dialogue [duplicate]

What is the best way to punctuate interrupted dialogue? I have seen it done like this, but I am not sure if it is correct. "In my opinion the best w--" "Nobody is interested in your opinion," Fred ...
1
vote
1answer
499 views

Punctuation: Dialogue that trails off and picks up again

How would you correctly punctuate dialogue that trails off, but then picks up again? A: "Something about the way she smells ..." The man breathed in deep, a smile spreading across his face. "... ...
0
votes
0answers
211 views

Punctuating dialogue with action tag after mid-sentence ellipsis

When speech trails off for a bit, then resumes after an action tag, I tend to punctuate like this: "I'll be there in..." she checked the clock "...ten minutes." Basically the same as I'd do for an ...
0
votes
1answer
850 views

Reasking in answer to “How are you?”

sorry for probably similar questions were already asked but I can't find exactly this: If I'm greeted by "How are you?", should I answer with "Fine, thanks, and you" as school books usually suggest? ...
-1
votes
0answers
273 views

A funny way to say the opposite of beautiful

I have heard this, or a similar phrase-sentence in different TV shows (at least that is what my memory recalls). If someone wants to say that, he was no beauty queen before something happened that ...
0
votes
1answer
274 views

How should punctuation be used in dialogues that end in “is all he/she/I said”?

In dialogues that are like the following ones, should the comma follow the dialogues like it does in dialogues that end with "she/he/I said"? "I'm coming home," she said. (Comma follows dialogue.) ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

The meaning of a short excerpt of dialog from the “La-La Land” movie [closed]

I came across the following dialog while watching La-La Land in English with subtitles: Mia: How’d you get on the lot? Seb: I basically just hauled ass past the guard gates. I think I have 20 ...
-1
votes
1answer
427 views

suggestions on word-choice for “the smell of roses” [closed]

Can someone suggest another way to say "the smell of roses in the air", please.Is "the aroma of roses" mean the same?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How should I format whispered dialog?

How do would you write out character whispering in a narrative story, would you use italics, parantheses, maybe dependent on variety of styles?
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Syntactic structure of a ''contracted'' question [closed]

I'm a teacher and I'm preparing the simple dialogues for my students. Here's one of them: Hi! Hello! How are things? Could be better. You? Pretty good. May I shorten the response ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Should I capitalize after an exclamation in dialogue? [duplicate]

I'm trying to update punctuation in an older children's book, and I can't find an answer to my question regarding the punctuation in this passage: “Well, well! if we wait there until summer comes, ...
2
votes
1answer
18k views

How is “but of course” different to just “of course”?

I've seen in writing and on screen the phrase "but of course" used as a stand alone sentence. If one were to substitute just "of course" would the meaning change?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

onomatopoeia for taking a deep breath before speaking

I'm writing a comic, and a character is about to ask another character for help, but it's taken her a lot of effort to be able to ask for help. So, before she finally asks she takes a deep breath and ...
1
vote
1answer
877 views

How do you paragraph dialogue when multiple characters are acting?

So if I'm correct, you start a new paragraph in dialogue every time a new character is the one focused on. So if character A says something and then does an action that's all one paragraph, but if ...
0
votes
2answers
698 views

How do I write dialog where list items are prefixed with letters?

I am a little stymied by this. I have dialog with a list of reasons in it that prefixes each reason with a letter of the alphabet. How am I suppose to write this, as spoken by a character in a book? ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

Word for when a writer uses alternate spelling and grammar to immitate a dialect

What is the word for when a writer spells words of a character's dialogue differently for a character in order to express an accent or dialect? I think it starts with a 'd'.
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the word “brownie” have the same implication as the N-Word?

I was watching the latest episodes of The X-Files a couple of weeks ago and in one of the episode a middle aged white man driving down the road in Texas stares at a Mid Eastern/Asian guy at a traffic ...
0
votes
1answer
438 views

Punctuation for nested quotes at the end of a sentence

This is something I've gone back and forth on with a couple of writer friends and nobody is ever really sure what the correct punctuation format is, or whether there really is a format that's ...
0
votes
1answer
147 views

I don't understand drama “Madam Secretary” dialogue

guys. I am whatching American Drama "Madam Secretary" season1, episode 13. And there are some dialogue I can't understand. Pat: It's a little fancy for a civil servant, but then, you came from a ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

How do you show someone is crying in dialogue?

How do you show someone is crying in dialogue? (as in, is there an onomatopoeia that can show crying well? I ask because "(insert dialogue)..sniffle..(insert dialogue)..snifle..", does show that the ...
1
vote
2answers
889 views

What does being back to something mean?

What does the phrase "Now it's back to all the brightness, and everything I hate" mean? (Riddicks s dialogue in The Chronicles of Riddicks movie) https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/...
2
votes
2answers
789 views

Help me make sense of this dialogue

Algernon. Oh! . . . by the way, Lane, I see from your book that on Thursday night, when Lord Shoreman and Mr. Worthing were dining with me, eight bottles of champagne are entered as having been ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Asking for a name. Ellipsis or not?

In dialogue, when a character is asking for another's name by saying, 'Mister...?' (expecting the other character to answer with their surname), is it written: 'Mister...?' or 'Mister?' The first ...
0
votes
1answer
618 views

What does “a bit unfortunate” mean?

I'm translating dialog with "bit unfortunate" phrase: Sasha:"It's a bit unfortunate about Antony's final take." (final take corresponds to final record in sound-recording studio. He had a lot of ...
-1
votes
1answer
154 views

Commas Before Little Conjunctions

I've recently come upon a set of lines in a video game which either disregard the rule about commas having to come before little conjunctions (and, so, but) when separating two independent clauses, or ...
-3
votes
1answer
849 views

Common rules for punctuating dialogue in American English [closed]

What are some common rules for punctuating dialogue in American English?
3
votes
3answers
627 views

How do you convey that something is said slowly in written dialogue?

I am writing a dialogue and I want a word to be said slowly so it is clarified. The dialogue goes like this "What's this?" "It's a Bellis perennis." "What?" "Bellis perennis." (I want this to be ...