>> Sunday, November 15, 2009
Jeff King asked: When should I use Jeff said or said Jeff? I use Jeff said when adding an adverb after, like so. "I am right" Jeff said reassuringly. And when I am not I use this “I am right” said Jeff. Does it matter either way? Is there a rule of thumb to follow?
Jeff, I have no idea. Fortunately, there's at least one wonderful copy editor who follows this blog who might chime in.
However, here's what I do. Generally, I use XXX said (and, yes, I use saidisms if I think they work better). For some reason, it generally works for me better. However, there are times when it doesn't, when it doesn't flow right.
To date, this has often corresponded to times when someone is speaking a bit more formally or, if someone consistently speaks formally, I might make it the norm for that particular characters. It feels more traditional to me, a little more distanced.
But I don't do it consciously, I don't think, and I don't know about a hard and fast rule.
Anyone else have some input on this?