dialogue tag

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dialogue tag (plural dialogue tags)

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see dialogue,‎ tag.
  2. (narratology, authorship) A sentence part that attributes a piece of written dialogue to its speaker. (e.g. In "Get out of here," he said, "he said" is a dialogue tag.)
    Not every paragraph of dialogue needs to have a dialogue tag attached to it.
    • 2000, Tom Romano, Blending Genre, Altering Style: Writing Multigenre Papers, →ISBN, page 63:
      Sometimes inexperienced writers will discover the useful tool of tacking on detail to a dialog tag with a present participal or adverbial phrase: "It's too late," she said, closing the door.
    • 2004, Leslie Wainger, Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies[1], John Wiley & Sons:
      A dialogue tag has to indicate sound
    • 2011, Deborah Halverson, Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies[2], John Wiley & Sons:
      An alternative style forsakes italics altogether and assigns a dialogue tag: This is going nowhere, he thought.
    • 2015, Kris James; Laura E. Koons, Stefanie Spangler Buswell, Beyond the Style Manual: Bundle #1[3], Red Adept Publishing:
      A line of dialogue followed by a dialogue tag looks like this: “Nothing suits me better than a fried egg on toast early in the morning,” Billy said.



See also[edit]