->"Are you lost, Daddy?" I asked tenderly.\\
"Shut up," he explained.
-->-- '''Creator/RingLardner''', ''The Young Immigrants''

A Said Bookism is a variety of PurpleProse in which the writer goes out of their way to avoid the word "said". It was quite the fashion at one point; there were even 'said books' ([[TropeNamer hence the name]], "said book-ism") you could buy with lists of verbs that can be used instead of "said", like "exclaimed", "emoted", "whispered", "sighed", "rumbled", "hissed", "pontificated", "enquired", etc.[[note]](or everybody's [[FreudWasRight Freudian favorite]], "[[HaveAGayOldTime ejaculated]]", meaning "exclaimed")[[/note]]

Said Bookisms are often considered lazy writing by readers and critics who want dialogue to speak for itself without the use of fancy tags to carry its meaning and intention ''for'' it; in many cases, the dialogue tags effectively repeat what the dialogue is already telling us.

Some said bookisms - particularly "asked", and to a lesser extent "replied" - are widely considered as acceptable when used properly (i.e. when a character is asking a question, and then the other character replies). The primary danger of other said bookisms lies in the fact that repeated use makes them lose their effectiveness; if every character growls, snarls, or hisses with every line of dialogue, then the unusual dialogue tags lose all of their impact and the writing looks ridiculous. Verbs which aren't a form of speech are especially frowned upon; using "laughed" or "sighed" as a dialogue tag (as opposed to noting that a character did one of those things) can be distracting, while using "smiled" or "shrugged" as a said bookism is right out - you cannot smile or shrug a line. Some other dialogue tags, such as "ejaculated", have come to gain connotations which render them unusable in serious text.

Experienced writers avoid extensive repetition of "said" by describing the speaker's actions, posture, or body language; through the word choice in what's being said; and by sprinkling in said bookisms where they actually enhance the delivery of the text. SubText is often used to give the reader an idea of how dialogue is delivered, even when it is not stated outright. Less experienced writers would be better off just sticking with "said"; it's one of those invisible words that most people who aren't writers don't think about.

A subtrope of PurpleProse; supertrope to a TomSwiftie; similar to DelusionsOfEloquence and AuthorVocabularyCalendar; often accompanies (or is accompanied by) SesquipedalianLoquaciousness.



[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In one ''TomorrowStories'' special, Splash Brannigan decides to act like a FilmNoir-slash-dime novel hero, and narrates everything that happens to him. So this is how conversations go with him:
-->'''Splash:''' "Take it easy, toots!", I screamed. "I'm simply considering a career as a 1930's film noir detective!"
-->'''Daisy:''' But it's 2005! You'll never find suitable premises!
-->'''Splash:''' ...she moaned, seductively.
::At one point Daisy specifically tells him not to say "she said". Throughout the story he basically uses every other word that could possibly mean "spoke", and a couple that couldn't, paired with increasingly ridiculous adverbs.


[[folder: Fanfic ]]

* ''FanFic/TheEndIsNear'' uses ''a lot'' of these, but it's good enough that the reader can mostly ignore them.
* ''MyImmortal'' has a sequence of these in Chapter 6, which the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_uioZd3XJg dramatic reading]] inevitably [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]].
* ''Fanfic/TheLostGirl'': Yes, Tinker Bell gets her own set of dialogue tags. Oh, brother!
* ''Metroid High School'', to a downright ridiculous extent. The word "said" is used maybe two times in the entire story.
* ''Fanfic/PastSins'': "Offered" is used quite a bit.
* Present in ''FanFic/{{Whispers}}'', and the author has admitted this problem is prevalent in all his works.
* ''FanFic/FromFakeDreams'' Almost every conversation utilizes some form of repetitive dialogue tag.
* ''FanFic/HomestuckHigh'', [[YouKeepUsingThatWord with an intrepid disregard for the actual meaning of the words used]], up to the point of "she eviscerated softly".
* ''Fanfic/SakiAfterStory'' does this to the point at which "said" is only used by characters who are speaking in reference to what they or others have said, never to describe dialogue.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* The trope name comes from the ''Website/TurkeyCityLexicon'', which lists it as a common mistake made by beginning writers.
* The TomSwift books were notorious for this, leading to the invention of the TomSwifty.
* {{Biggles}} does this all the time. Algy and Ginger might be guilty of saying things, but Biggles and Von Stalhein never are.
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series had a few notorious examples:
-->"We're not going to use magic?" Ron [[HaveAGayOldTime ejaculated]] loudly.
-->"Snape!" Slughorn [[AuthorVocabularyCalendar ejaculated]].
* "Don't use this trope," ''Literature/HowNotToWriteANovel'' [[HypocriticalHumor advised repeatedly.]]
* ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' is most definitely guilty of this, as skewered expertly [[http://reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com/tagged/dialogue_tags here.]]
* TheHost is just as bad.
* DaveBarry's ''Twilight'' parody ''Fangs of Endearment'' does it on every single dialogue tag.
* Creator/StephenKing voiced his disgust for this in ''On Writing'': "Don't do these things. Please oh please. The best form of dialogue attribution is said, as in he said, she said, Bill said, Monica said." He also provides the best example of doing it wrong: "'You fucking tease!', Bill jerked out."
* Defended by Lawrence Block in ''Telling Lies For Fun and Profit,'' in which he says that replacements for "said" can enliven a story, so long as they're not used with a heavy hand:
---> I do feel that any number of alternate verbs have their uses from time to time. They can be good accent points in dialogue, and the less frequently you employ them the more effective they will be.
* In the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'', the infamous: [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment "'Sorry,' apologized Brom."]]
* Occasionally, TimothyZahn's otherwise excellent Dragonback Trilogy falls prey to this. This actually crops up in pretty much all of his work. ''Literature/ChoicesOfOne'' follows the ''Eragon'' example above: [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment "'Sorry,' Luke apologized."]]
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'' falls into this sometimes, though this mostly is becuase the authors replace every instance of the word "said" with "meowed", which can get [[{{Narm}} a little weird sometimes]] and the authors want to avoid that. Apart from that, there are still a lot of said bookisms, like "ventured."
* The fantasy author [[MythAdventures Robert Lynn Asprin]] is another who sometimes had problems with this. Characters in the [[MythAdventures Myth Adventures]] will often "retort" to something "argued" to them.
* ElmoreLeonard includes in his [[http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940CE3DD103BF935A25754C0A9679C8B63 Rules of Writing]] "Never use a verb other than 'said' to carry dialogue." Another rule expands on that slightly: "Never use an adverb to modify the verb 'said.'"
* ''TheEyeOfArgon''. Nothing is ever "said" - instead it is "husked" or "ejaculated" or "stated [[PerfectlyCromulentWord whimsicoracally]]".
* ''AtlantaNights'' uses this quite a bit, as one of many deliberately bad writing techniques.
* "The word said is to prose what the arrow of a word balloon is to comics", NeilGaiman blogged.
* ''TheGreatGatsby'' is not only full of these, it's full of redundant ones, like "snorted contemptuously."
* ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'' is very fond of 'murmur', even using it four times on one page. People are also fond of whispering things. Also, dialogue often gets tagged with actions, in some cases ''[[EpicFail not by the actual speaker]]''. This can make it quite hard to tell who's talking at any given time.
-->'''Dave Barry:''' Thatís right: This is the kind of a book where, instead of saying things, characters muse them, and they are somehow able to muse them ''matter-of-factly''.
* In ''ASongOfIceAndFire'', there is a character called Hodor, who has a VerbalTicName: the only word he can speak is "Hodor". The prose is fond of sentences like: "''Hodor'', Hodor agreed." or "''Hodor'', Hodor protested.", to convey the emotion of the character's speech. Also [[BuffySpeak reinsubverted or something]] on at least one occasion in which the word "hodor" is used ''as'' a Said Bookism in-universe.
--> '''Bran:''' [[MemeticMutation "Hush, Hodor. No more hodoring."]]
* Darren Shan, most famous for ''Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan,'' likes to use these regardless of whether they're needed or not. He once used the word "tsked." No, really.
* Classic science fiction writer Stanley Weinbaum's most famous short story is "A Martian Odyssey," which he followed with a sequel, "The Valley of Dreams." They involve a team of astronauts who have traveled to Mars, including a German named [[BilingualBonus Putz]] as a minor character. Both stories give him a chance to [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "ejaculate"]] a line of dialogue.
* Robert B. Parker had an apparent version to using any other word than "said" to tag dialogue, at least in the ''{{Spenser}}'' series. Listening to the audiobook really drives the point home.
* TamoraPierce tended to do this early on; it's most noticeable in [[Literature/SongOfTheLioness the Alanna books]].
* Walter Kerr's ''How Not to Write a Play'' cautions playwrights against the theatrical equivalent of this trope, which is to lead every significant line of dialogue with an adverb in parentheses.
* In ''Literature/ThePhantomTollbooth'', the members of King Azaz's cabinet talk like this all the time.
* This is really prevalent throughout ''Literature/StrengthAndJustice''. Nearly every line of dialogue will have this.


[[folder: Music ]]

* Played for laughs in ''Music/FlightOfTheConchords'' FracturedFairyTale "Albi the Racist Dragon";
-->''Just at that moment, he felt a tiny little hand rest upon his tail. And who should that little hand belong to, but the [[NoodleIncident badly burnt Albanian boy from the day before.]]\\
"What are you doing here? I thought I killed you yesterday," grumbled Albi, quite racistly.\\
"No Albi, you didn't kill me with your dragon flames -- I crawled to safety. But you did leave me very badly disfigured," laughed the boy. ''


[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* Parodied in the ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' short "[[http://www.homestarrunner.com/stuckincraw.html The Homestar Runner Gets Something Stuck in His Craw]]", which deliberately (over)uses Said Bookism as part of a parody of bad children's books.
* Parodied extensively in on WebAnimation/WelcomeTo in their ''[=Fanfiction.net=]'' episode. Plenty of the "said" substitutions also try (and fail) to verb the nouns.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''Blog/HowToWriteBadlyWell'' parodies this in [[http://writebadlywell.blogspot.com/2011/08/banish-said-from-your-vocabulary.html "Banish 'said' from your vocabulary"]].
* Zigzagged in ''Blog/AliceAndBob'', with attempts at avoiding "said" and then just settling on that word.
* ''Website/TheOnion'' ran a brief article where the author of a new book persistently used "shrugged" as every said bookism. When asked about this, said author expressed her indifference with a quick raising of her shoulders.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Many English classes in both British and American schools specifically require students to write this way as well as proscribing all use of "be" verbs (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been). It can almost seem as if they are trying to sabotage future writers.
* Completely averted in Russian - if you don't use Said Bookism, you will be considered an okay writer at best.