P.19: I’m a Grammar Rebel

I have a quirk in the way I like to punctuate dialog. Most people use a comma before they write ‘he said’ or ‘she said;’ I prefer a period.

For example, if a character heard something that sounded good to them, here’s how I’d write it:

“Sounds good to me.” She said.

Here’s the technically ‘right’ way to punctuate it:

“Sounds good to me,” she said.

I like to use a period instead of a comma because I think the line of dialog completes a thought. The fact someone said it is a separate thought.

It’s also about consistency. If a line of dialog was framed as a question or an exclamation, proper grammar dictates that he said or she said would start a new sentence.

It’s “Sounds good?” She said. Not “Sounds good?” she said. So why would it be “Sounds good,” she said? What makes question marks and exclamations so special?

I’m sure many others would feel differently — some passionately, no doubt — but I think I’m right here.

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3 thoughts on “P.19: I’m a Grammar Rebel

    1. Thanks for posting this, Nat. When I first wrote this blog, I looked up style advice that said the opposite, wanting to be sure I was right. Apparently I should have looked a little harder. I’m always willing to be a rebel, but not a contrarian… so now that I’ve seen this correction, I may go back and edit my stories.

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