Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: Elmore Leonard's rules

From: Bob Toomey (
Date: 21 Jul 2001

Dick Lochte wrote:

>I'm also weary of the "said" thing.

"You're right, it's not new advice, but it still bears repeating," I insist adamantly.

James Blish quoted Walcott Gibbs, railing against said substitutes back in the forties: "Word 'said' is OK. Efforts to avoid repetition by inserting
'grunted,' 'snorted,' etc., are waste motion and offend the pure in heart." By way of illustration, Blish himself came up with my favorite said substitute:
"'Good morning,' he pole-vaulted." That should cure anybody of the habit. Legitimate said substitutes might include tones of voice such as: screamed, whispered, farted, etc. And obviously modifiers should be strenuously avoided.


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