A folk Tale (tygerofdanyte) wrote in linguaphiles,
A folk Tale
tygerofdanyte
linguaphiles

Dialog construction in Sentences

EDIT: question has been answered as it relates to my blindness rather than it being an actual problem. Have put the rest under cut so not to waste anyone else's bandwidth.


A November 5th, 2007 New York Times article entitled "Things Turn Ugly in the 'Hacks vs. Flacks' war" talked about how Wired.com's editor published the names & email addresses on his blog. The list was of people who inundated him with press releases rather than send it to a specific reporter on his staff.

While his approach seems mean-spirited to an outsider like me, what really caught my eye was the construction of a specific sentence within the article.

Peter Shankman, author of “Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work,” wrote that rather than spraying buckshot, P.R. people should research beats and specify a single reporter. “Don’t want to do that?” he asked. “Get the hell out of my industry.”

I've emboldened, italicized, and underilned the areas that I want to focus on.

The emboldened text is a question (somewhat rhetorical, I suppose) and the italicized is the action verb that relates to that question.
But the underlined sentence right after isn't being asked, so do you believe that to be a strange construction.

The reason this particularly interests me is that as a part-time writer, I alway struggle with placing dialog within my dialog and especially when the dialog is split by narrative clauses.  In this particular case, the two distinctly separate sentences that Shankman was quoted on can't be separated with a specific sentence such as asked or said. So while I am picking at what the journalist has said, I do feel Mr. Newman's pain.

You can't say a question especially not with the vitriol that Shankman feels for the PR people.
You can't ask a command such as "get the hell out of my industry"
I suppose both those sentences could be stated but obviously that is bland and dry writing and most newspaper editors I've dealt with would change that to another or completely remove the "he asked."

On further reading of the entire paragraph, the paragraph itself is strangely constructed.

The first half has, what i assume to be, a line from his book quoted followed by a direct quote for the sake of this article. The distinction isn't made where it probably should have been made.

Peter Shankman, author of “Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work,” wrote that rather than spraying buckshot, P.R. people should research beats and specify a single reporter.

He writes the line about the buckshot but then asks a question & the answer.  That's the best explanation I can give for all of this.
~
Any thoughts on this? Am I wrong in any of my assumptions here?

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