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Style question for the old-timers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. Dan Rydell

    Dan Rydell Guest

    Silvercharm gets it right.

    Always say "said."

    Work everything else into it. It's not that hard.

    And always remember that there are rules that dictate why we apply style, and if you ain't applying style, you're ignoring what language and syntax are all about.

    Polished writing still works the best. The challenge is to see how well you can polish your words.

    You can always write better if you always look for ways to write better. It's a never-ending challenge. And you'll be surprised at how much better you get.
  2. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    thin-clad harrier ... who woulda thunk?

    thanks guys.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    But would it be "Said said" or "said Said"?
  4. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    looks more like gay, gay, gay, although there is nothing wrong with that.
  5. Taylee

    Taylee Member

    Why not use Coach said, jokingly.
    Our rule is "said." If you are interviewing two people at once such as after a game. One person says something, followed by the other without another question being asked, then it's OK to use "Coach added" because he did in fact add something to what was previously said.
  6. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    And another thing: Does anywhere allow the said before the name nowadays?

    Style everywhere I've been lately has been "XXXXX said," not "said XXXXX."

    Years ago, I had an SE who encouraged me to use "said XXXXX." Took forever to break that habit.
  7. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I was told in my early days that I could alternate between "XXX said" and "said XXX". Now I only time I don't use "XXX said" in two cases:

    1. When I'm adding more information between the name and the end of the sentence. I feel good about our chances against Big City next week," said Doe, who ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns against the Jackals in last year's sectional final.

    2. When I use back-to-back quotes by two people, and I do the colon lead-in for the second quote. Said Doe: "Yabber yabber ding dong doodle."

    Shifting gears slightly: is it just me or are more writers sticking quotes at the end of a paragraph instead of breaking it out as its' own graf?

    Doe spent six years playing for the Diamond Cutters AAU baseball program before deciding to focus solely on football this season. "I enjoyed my time with the Cutters, but football is my future," Doe said.

    I've been making that change on pretty much every freelance story I've edited the last six months
  8. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    A lot of our reporters don't put the attribution in until the end, either. It always reads funny to me. I'll change it if it messes with the flow of the quote and the comment having a natural breaking point.
  9. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Which is something else. They'll put four sentences of quote before "Doe said". I was taught to always put the attribution after the first sentence of the quote. Sometimes I'll split a one-sentence quote with the attribution when it feels right to do so.

    "Some days," Doe said, "you can't be the lead dog."
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Perhaps sadly, I no longer worry too much about the "said Jones" and "Jones said" style. I've read it both ways in fine publications, and I don't fight that battle too much anymore.
  11. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    I had this very conversation with a writing coach who was in our office for a couple of weeks recently. He felt "bristled" was fine.We're in the business of economical word use. Why use two words when one is just as effective?
  12. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    It's one thing to read it in a feature in a fine publication, when a writer should have a leash. It's another in a news story.
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