EDITED TO ADD: I have another post, from June 14 of this year and also tagged "language," about dialogue itself--in this case, sex-scene dialogue, which people actually wrote. Really, truly, actually wrote.
My previous blog was, in part, about winning a book when you don't get to choose the book you want to win. Oh, my. I was recently the recipient of a historical romance, issued this year by a major print publisher. Not only was it riddled with anachronisms (e.g., yuk, as an exclamation of disgust; two cents' worth; the last straw), it had the most stupendous, dizzying array of dialogue tags I've ever, EVER seen between two covers, paper or electronic.
What I found most annoying was how seldom characters "asked." Almost invariably, they "queried."
Where have all the good editors gone? Into e-publishing?
As you peruse the list below, keep in mind that each of these words was used as an indicator of a character speaking (like the way I used one of them in my post title). I kid you not. Comma, end quote, tag -- in that order. Many were followed by some rip-roaring adverbs, too, which put extra kinks in my occipital cortex and temporal lobe.
I have to confess I've employed many of these tags myself. Most authors have. "She asked" and "he answered" and "she said" don't go far in the descriptive department. Said-said-said can also wear on a reader's nerves. But . . . but . . .
Well, just check out the list. I doubt it's complete; I surely missed some because, frankly, I did have better things to do. By the way, I didn't bother jotting down the more common and acceptable tags, like "whispered," "murmured," and "replied."
Fellow e-authors: hold your heads high! Keep in mind this attractive trade paperback came from a big, snazzy New York house. Now go get a supersized beverage and settle in.
tried to agree