->"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", "sighed", "rumbled", "hissed", "pontificated", "enquired", etc.

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. And if a character "hisses" or "snaps" their dialogue, it should probably be a line where you can actually do that; you can't hiss a phrase with no sibilants, or snap a WallOfText. Some other dialogue tags, such as "ejaculated", have come to [[HaveAGayOldTime gain connotations]] which render them unusable in serious text. That said, TropesAreNotBad: the {{Bathos}} that can come from an unusual choice of said bookism is a good source of comedy, as in the Ring Lardner exchange quoted above. Also, in some languages like Spanish, this trope is enforced as repetiton is considered a bad thing much more than in other languages. Try to compare any book to their Spanish translation, or viceversa.

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. [[IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused]] with something said by someone named Bookism.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/TomorrowStories'':
** In one 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.

* ''FanFic/TheEndIsNear'' uses ''a lot'' of these, but it's good enough that the reader can mostly ignore them.
* ''FanFic/MyImmortal'' has a sequence of these in Chapter 6, which [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_uioZd3XJg this dramatic reading]] inevitably [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]].
-->ENOUGH! with the dialogue tags. (I don't care what your English teacher told you, "said" is fine)
* ''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.
* Nearly every line of dialogue in ''Fanfic/HogwartsSchoolOfPrayerAndMiracles'' gets its own verb and adverb.
* ''Fanfic/{{XSGCOM}}'' gets a lot of mileage out of "opined."
* ''FanFic/YuGiOhRealitysCurtain'' averts this with extreme prejudice, most lines are attributed with 'said' or some form of action performed by the speaker. The author has also had a paragraph on their profile at one point detailing their contempt for this trope.
* Although ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone'' is hardly guilty of this trope, there is a scene when the author deliberately did not use "said" at all--when the Pyar gods speak with the four. The two younger gods merely reiterate, in different words, what the primary god says, and every one of their speaking verbs is different. The implication is that what the gods are saying is, for the most part, both pretentious and useless.
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfGrace'' avoids not only 'said' but 'asked', substituting 'queried', 'questioned', and 'interrogated' in completely inappropriate places.

* The trope name comes from the ''Website/TurkeyCityLexicon'', which lists it as a common mistake made by beginning writers.
* The Literature/TomSwift books were notorious for this, leading to the invention of the TomSwifty.
* Literature/{{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.]] However, they don't lay down an absolute rule against adverbs, saying that they can add nuance to dialog that won't come across from what is said (the adverb ''coldly'', for instance, completely changes the meaning of a line like "I love you"), but they still strongly recommend that adverbs be used carefully and ''very'' sparingly on dialog tags.
* ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' is most definitely guilty of this, as skewered expertly [[http://reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com/tagged/dialogue_tags here.]]
* Literature/TheHost, by [[Creator/StephenieMeyer the same author]], is just as bad.
* Creator/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.''
* And from Creator/ShirleyJackson:
-->All remarks can be ''said''. Every time you use a fancy word your reader is going to turn his head to look at it going by and sometimes he may not turn his head back again. My own name for this kind of overexcited talking is the-other-responded. As in this example: "'Then Im for a swim,'" cried Jack, a gallant flush mantling his cheek. "'And I am with you!' the other responded."
* In the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'', the infamous: [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment "'Sorry,' apologized Brom."]]
* Occasionally, Creator/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 because 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 Creator/RobertAsprin is another who sometimes had problems with this. Characters in the ''Literature/MythAdventures'' will often "retort" to something "argued" to them.
* Creator/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.'"
* ''Literature/TheEyeOfArgon''. Nothing is ever "said" instead it is "husked" or "ejaculated" or "stated [[PerfectlyCromulentWord whimsicoracally]]".
* ''Literature/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", Creator/NeilGaiman blogged.
* ''Literature/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.
* In ''Literature/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 aversion to using any other word than "said" to tag dialogue, at least in the ''Literature/{{Spenser}}'' series. Listening to the audiobook really drives the point home.
* Creator/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 (the Minister of Meaning, the Duke of Definition, The Earl of Essence, the Count of Countenance, and the Undersecretary of Understanding) talk like this all the time, to demonstrate how wasteful they are with words.
* This is really prevalent throughout ''Literature/StrengthAndJustice''. Nearly every line of dialogue will have this.
* PlayedForLaughs, like pretty much everything else, in ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings'':
-->Spam gagged, and his arm went limp. "Die," he suggested.
* Some ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' authors do this at times, leading to quite a jarring effect in longer conversations. An example from ''Deathfire'', which is positively filled up with those:
-->"Did you see that?" asked Venator.\\
"A half-naked legionary," Finius concurred.\\
"Inviglio's survivor?" suggested Corvun.\\
"Sprinting for the bridge," added Lenator.
* Everyone, mortal and supernatural, seems to murmur a lot in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Said Bookism appears in-universe, played for pathos, in ''Series/TheWire'', when [[spoiler:Ziggy Sobotka]] insists that a character didn't ''say'' something, he ''begged''. But he's not a writer. He's reviewing his murder confession, and it was his victim who begged, "Please don't shoot me."
-->'''Suspect:''' But that's not going to mess you up, though, right?\\
'''Detective:''' No, it's more descriptive like that. [[SympathyForTheDevil It's good.]] Thanks.

* 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: WebComics]]
* In ''Webcomic/FullFrontalNerdity'', Frank [[http://ffn.nodwick.com/?p=1081 stumbles across a]] FlameWar over this topic while trying to write a novel.

[[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.
* To quote a [[https://twitter.com/WorstMuse/status/503261940429234176 tweet]] from the Twitter blog ''Blog/WorstMuse'':
-->""Said" is so boring. You should bring back "ejaculated.""
* Overuse of Said Bookism is a chargeable offense in the [[WebOriginal/ProtectorsOfThePlotContinuum PPC]]. It can also infect agents, as shown in [[https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zrWBvhHssGq9kJFF63zCczp90r3VP8YMn8nXROcSsRI/mobilebasic this]] mission.

[[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 leave students reaching for a thesaurus, and exchanging saids for other words willy-nilly.
* Completely averted in Russian, Spanish and French if you ''don't'' use Said Bookism, you will be considered an okay writer at best.
* Czech is also notable in this. Thanks to prefixes and suffixes, Czech verbs tend to be much more precise in their meanings than English ones and it is possible to derive many variations on one word. It is therefore actually a natural feature of the language for them to be used in this way. Using the very broad and simple "řekl(a)" - "said" - exclusively or very often would not only look boring and unimaginative, but also extremely repetitive. (However, in other areas of writing, the strict school insistence on avoiding repetition at all costs can even in Czech lead to beginning writers relying too heavily on PurpleProse...)
* Aversion: journalism. Journalists are trained to use the word "said" when quoting people, so as to avoid adding subtext, and to let the person's words speak for themselves.