Dialog tags are used often in writing, particularly fiction writing. What is a dialog tag? Here are examples:
- she said.
- said George.
- he replied.
- George asked.
They either precede or follow dialog in quotation marks:
“Why did you order pizza, ” George asked.
Dialog tags can be complete sentences that show action while identifying the speaker. For example:
“Why did you order pizza?” George stared pointedly at the casserole in the oven. “It’s my night to cook.”
The following is not an example of a dialog tag and should never be used in writing (And I wish it was never used. Period!):
“She was like, ‘why am I here?’ and I’m like “you’re the bridesmaid. You have to help pick out the dress.’ And she’s like, ‘It’s your wedding. Pick what you want.’ and I’m like, ‘It’s your dress. I want your input.’ And she’s like, “Girl, it’s not as if I’ll ever wear it again. I have, like, a dozen bridesmaids’ dresses hanging in my closet now that I wore one time.'”
Yuck! I definitely don’t like reading this passage of dialog!
Next post will cover proper punctuation for dialog.