As I’ve traveled the path of a budding writer, I’ve read the opinions of a number of experts. I suppose the most notable would be Stephen King and his book “on writing”. In this book he trashes the use of “ly” adverbs being used in speech tags. For example:
“Wow! That’s amazing!” John said excitedly.
Not really a very good sentence I agree, as it is obvious that John is excited given the fact we use the exclamation points. But when I’m reading, I don’t pay much attention to those “ly” adverbs. It appears that a lot of writers agree with Mr. King, so when I do my writing, I don’t waste my time with the adverbs. Efficiency, what’s not to like? I can get behind that.
I don’t recall now who it was, another writer complained about using asked rather than using said. He, or maybe it was a she, complained that writers would write sentences like the following:
“Where are we going?” John asked.
Their argument was the reader can see by the fact that there is a question mark that John is asking a question and thus, there is no need to say that John asked. They felt it was more appropriate to write John said.
I can’t say as I disagree with this author’s reasoning, however, it does not seem technically correct to me. After all, John asked the question. So technically John asked. He wasn’t just sayin’.
I certainly think this is just one of those silly academic questions. No one really cares. When people read words like said and asked, the brain just skips over it all. But when I write, I’m just going to have to write John asked.
I don’t suppose anyone has any thoughts on the matter? Or is this as academic as I think it is.