Among the most debated topics among the writing community – aside from the Oxford comma, of course – is the humble dialogue tag. I’m not going to say which method I prefer, because I like a mixture. But I am going to show you how to punctuate them properly – I’m a sub-editor by trade, after all.
Thug: “You should always use the Oxford comma!”
Oaf: “No you shouldn’t!”
All right, all right, calm down lads. Don’t fall out over it, eh?
You might have heard this kind of altercation on “the streets”, as crazed grammar bandits spit their heated comma quarrels at each other with impunity.
But that’s not fair, is it? We don’t have to stand by as their wrath wafts over us, like a fog of fury, do we? No!
But what do we need to confront this dogmatic dispute? An opinion?
Actually, no – everyone you ever spoke to who had an opinion on the Oxford comma has been wrong. Dead wrong – yeah, that’s right: everyone.
“But Tim, how can that be?” I hear you ask, inaudibly. “Surely someone out there must have figured it out, right?”
<points thumbs at chest>