- If there's nothing attached to the name, the unpretentious frontward approach is best.
"There's no question I played like crap," Agassi said.
- When something is attached to the name with a comma, it's better to keep "said" with the name even if that means the backward approach.
"I should be paroled. There's only one of them in the Senate now anyway," said Sirhan, who gunned down Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
- I like the backward route even when the appositional matter is very brief.
"I'm this many years old," said Ashlee, 4.
- In fact, I like the backward route even when what comes after the name is not in apposition at all.
"I don't think Sirhan should be paroled," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).
(That's Washington Post style for party affiliation and state.)
- In fact, sometimes I like the backward route even when descriptive material comes before a name, especially when that material is on the long side.
"Based on assessment of current intelligence, we have no plans to raise the threat level," said Department of Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse.
- When such material is relatively brief, it's a coin flip.
"We are looking at this and many other options very seriously because we won’t fight with one hand behind our back," said Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter.
"We are looking at this and many other options very seriously because we won’t fight with one hand behind our back," Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said.
- If the "said" is part of a larger thought, try to keep the thought together. For me, this principle trumps the long-descriptive-material principle stated above.
"Based on assessment of current intelligence, we have no plans to raise the threat level," Department of Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said in a conference call with reporters.
By the way, I have no problem with "according to" for attribution of something other than a quote.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Should it be "said Smith" or "Smith said"? This is one of those things that copy editors get way too excited about, in my opinion, but here's how I see it:
Posted by Bill at 10:08 PM