On Facebook, I was having a deeply serious conversation about the use of exclamation marks, and my friend Indigo Roth said this:
‘Should it be:
“Pollocks,” he exclaimed.
“Pollocks!” he exclaimed.
(Indigo actually used a more anatomical word, but I don’t want to get my blog blacklisted for bad language so I have used a substitute.) Anyway, we were saying…
Without the exclamation mark, said Indigo, it’s hard to get the impact in dialogue.
Just write “Pollocks.” I wouldn’t bother mentioning that he has exclaimed it. The word already has the impact you need.
‘No shouty?!’ said Indigo.
No shouty, I said.
‘But,’ said Indigo, ‘how did he say it? Quietly? At a bellow? Isn’t the supporting explanation necessary? Though in general, I prefer less enthusiastic punctuation.’
Aha, I said, do you need a supporting explanation? Think of the scene. Presumably, whoever ‘pollocks’ is being…
View original post 383 more words