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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

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15 votes
1 answer

How should I use quotation marks in sections of multiline dialogue?

If I want to introduce a “pause” between lines of dialogue from the same person by inserting a spacing line, how should I use the quotation marks correctly to indicate continued dialogue? I really don’...
Neil Trodden's user avatar
106 votes
4 answers

Why does the multi-paragraph quotation rule exist?

The answer to this question clearly explains the standard rule that when you have multiple quoted paragraphs, each new paragraph starts with an opening quotation mark, but only the final quoted ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 135k
0 votes
3 answers

Children caught by an adult doing something wrong, relaying the blame onto each other

Here's the basic situation: two fairly young children, boy and girl, caught by an adult after doing something really wrong (i.e., for example, breaking some sort of precious vase or something like ...
GreyCat's user avatar
  • 387
7 votes
3 answers

Is there a difference between "Joe said" and "said Joe"?

Does the subject/verb order make a difference when writing a dialog tag? "The sky is blue," Joe said. "The sky is blue," said Joe. Is one preferable over the other? Does one ...
The English Chicken's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers

Comma splices in dialogue

At university, it was drilled into us to avoid comma splices like the plague, but I keep seeing them in all different types of famous, best-selling novels. I read things (all in dialogue, in inverted ...
MoniqueH's user avatar
  • 859
1 vote
2 answers

Term for the identification of the person speaking in a dialogue

Consider the following piece of dialogue: Peter: Hello, Mary! How do you do? Mary: Hi, Peter! Fine, and you? What is the term for the part in bold, the specification of who is to speak a ...
aaa's user avatar
  • 199
16 votes
5 answers

Stealing the topic from another person when he or she is going to tell you something

When someone is starting to tell you something from his or her life, some persons are immediately interrupting and starting to talk about the same topic, but from their own perspective instead. ...
Kristoffer's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers

Was the BrEng term "coloured" derogatory in the 1970s?

SAM Look... I owe it to myself to say this to you, okay? Leave Tony Crane. Just go far away from him. He's gonna ask you to marry him and he's gonna make you a business partner. EVE Is that ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 91.4k
13 votes
5 answers

Did they say "hand job" in the 1800s?

Did they say "hand job" in the 1800s? I was watching an episode of Deadwood, and they just said it. For example, from episode 6 "Plague": (Al enters the back room, Dolly is ...
ljs's user avatar
  • 139
9 votes
1 answer

Meaning of "Buck ten, buck fifteen, tops"

These lines are from the movie Mr and Mrs Smith. What is the meaning of the phrase buck ten, buck fifteen, tops? You get a look at him? Little thing. Buck ten, buck fifteen, tops. Maybe he’s Filipino....
Amy's user avatar
  • 143
6 votes
3 answers

About using “said” in dialogue

I want to know if there are any rules regarding using said before or after a name. For example, which of the following is correct? "I am going to the bank," said John. "I am going to ...
Lorretta's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers

Addressing an unmarried woman, 1930s

How should a character address an unmarried woman in conversation in the 1930s: would they use Mrs., Miss, or Ms? Example: "Good evening, Ms. Smith."
J. Fosse's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

What happens if there’s dialogue in dialogue in dialogue? [closed]

Do you do an apostrophe again, or can you not do it at all? It’s been very confusing for me!
Elizabeth's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers

Using colons and semi-colons in dialogue

I've often heard writers say they don't like using colons and semi-colons in dialogue specifically and I don't often see colons and semi-colons in dialogue, but sometimes it just seems like it's by ...
MoniqueH's user avatar
  • 859