While I’m Discoursing on Trivia

I’d just like to say that I find the use of the European-style initial-dash method of dialogue punctuation by writers of English-language fiction to be pretentious in the extreme. It contributes no extra meaning to the text itself; it’s present solely as a signifier that the work in question is — despite the presence of possible overt genre clues to the contrary — meant to be read as serious literature.

Not that I’ve got any firm opinions on the subject, or anything.

(It also makes me feel like the characters aren’t actually talking loudly enough to be heard — instead, they’re standing somewhere just out of earshot and muttering.)

One thought on “While I’m Discoursing on Trivia

  1. I know exactly what you mean — the few times I’ve come across this, it was sort of like my head was wrapped in wool whenever somebody spoke.

    Though I did read a book in first-person, present tense that used that method and for some reason it didn’t bother me there. Perhaps the general pretension levels were high enough that the little extra bit didn’t register.

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