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  #1  
Old 04-30-2019, 09:22 AM
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The [say] tag

I've only been on this site for about a year and a half, now, and it seems to be a "house style" here that we put our dialogue in boldface text, usually produced by the [say] tag:
"May I add you on Instagram?" the elf asked, boldly.
I'm just curious if anyone knows the origin of this. I've adopted this style in an effort to fit in, but I have to admit I find it visually distracting. Especially for long passages of dialogue.

Last edited by Astra; 04-30-2019 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:50 AM
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I didn't even know about that tag, but I can guess it's origin. It is pretty standard to do verbal communication in bold and mental/telepathic/though in italics.

-me
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jj_wolven View Post
I didn't even know about that tag, but I can guess it's origin. It is pretty standard to do verbal communication in bold and mental/telepathic/though in italics.

-me
Well the origin is from the Wishes thread in the Community Supporters forum. I guess my real question is, why is it pretty standard to do verbal communication in bold?

I've never seen that anywhere else.
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:44 PM
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I can't say for certain, but I've seen it before. And it can help if players are posting long paragraphs with the dialogue scattered throughout. Instead of missing a piece, your eye is drawn to all of it so you don't miss anything.

I'm so used to it after a decade and more on here, I can't say I really even think about it anymore.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:28 PM
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Same for me as Aethera. I have been on several story based forums, and all of them used this format, and for as long as I have been here (also decade+) I'm used to it.

-me
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:17 AM
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I don't have much to add on prevalence, because this is my first and only PbP board, but I do agree that long blocks of text look wonky with the bold.

What I've started doing is breaking up walls of text with small reset actions. For example, the last wall of text spell I cast was broken up with the speaker lighting a cigar, then talking, describing the smoke and smell for another small break in the talking, and then a scoff as he realised he'd forgotten to offer one to the assembled PCs.

It's nothing huge, but the little action/description breaks help with the flow and the ambiance
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:58 PM
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I don't know for sure, but if I were a betting equine I'd say the convention may trace it's roots back to the old MUD days. It's been a thing as long as I can remember at least, as far back as the early '00s
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:26 PM
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My two cents on the subject:

1.) As has already been brought up, the convention that most people like having it done that way is much older than the say-tag. The existence of said tag, as you already noted, dates back to a community supporter wish, who simply wanted to not need two steps, namely pressing bold plus typing in quotation marks. So the answer to the literal question in your title would be: Because that was the convention on how people said things when the tag was created.

2.) While I can see the potential for it being visually distracting with longer blocks of texts (in which case I would do what Imveros suggested and break it up, even with just a "xy sighs and scratches their head"), I find the benefit much outweighs that issue. It makes it really easy to pick out what was said. Frequently, when I'm replying in games, I will read all the posts, then start making my post, but will have to go back and check things in the last posts, which means multiple posts that are upwards of two paragraphs. I'd say 75% of the time things from my fellow PCs that require a reaction on my part are things that were spoken to my character. It's much easier to just have to glance at their posts to see what they said, rather than reread the whole thing again or make an extensive list on my original reading as to what all I need to reply to. If spoken text weren't bolded, it would probably take me either twice as long to post each time, or I'd miss half of the questions my PC is asked.
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  #9  
Old 05-01-2019, 11:40 PM
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Speech is bolded to make it stand out.

In a book format, almost all the print is done black (or very, very dark grey) on a white or off-white page. Just having the quotes is usually enough visual clue for the eye to pick out the spoken words.

On the web, you really have no idea what color the font will be on someone's computer, or what color the background will be. About the only thing you control is the size of the font, and the bold/italics... those things tend to run "true" through 98% of the systems out there.

So... bolding it makes text stand out.

As for the next question: Why do we both bold AND quote then? why not just bold?

Because far too many of us are pedantic, and will always use quotes on speech text.

Same reason I still use double spaces after a period. Habit, long ingrained.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin Dirk View Post
Same reason I still use double spaces after a period. Habit, long ingrained.
Funny, I was the same, until I was forced to single space after a period because of APA formatting for academic writing. It was actually quite easy to break that old habit of double-tapping on the space bar after a period.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:35 PM
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Bold and quotes...because bold is still used for things other than speech.

-me
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