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Style question for the old-timers

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

  1. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    Ok well that was just an example off the top of my head. I'm just asking if that was a hard and fast rule for you?
  2. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I'd say I probably do it about 90-95 percent of the time. Every once in a while I'll get a second sentence in before the attribution if the first one is short. But for the most part, I go after the first sentence.
  3. I'd let the quoted person complete one full thought, probably a sentence, before putting "he said" in there. I'd prefer to see it like this:

    "This was a total team effort," coach Jones said. "It's great anytime you can have five players score in double figures. Now we just need to keep this up going into the tournament."

    I'm not a big fan of this:

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

    As opposed to this:

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

    I see the first example a lot, maybe too much. It's a device -- sticking "he said" in the middle of the sentence tends to get in the way of a good quote, as if we're trying to point out how profound it is. It doesn't enhance it in any way except if the speaker actually did pause after "some days":

    "Some days," Doe said, sighing and shaking his head, "you can't be the lead dog."

    But that's rare.
  4. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    but putting the attribution in the middle of a sentence is the right thing to do when it's the last sentence of the story, rather than ending on the attribution.
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