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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Common sense...

"Perhaps the old saying is true and it is not possible to love and be wise. When you are as devoted to anyone... I expect you cease to be sane about the matter."

"Sane," said Searle sharply.  

"Yes; things lose their proper proportions.  Which, I take it, is a loss of sanity."

"I'm not suggesting the fellow is mad," Walter said.  "He has just lost hold of common sense."

"Nothing great ever came out of common sense," Searle said.

"On the contrary.  Lack of common sense is responsible for practically every ill in life.  Everything from wars..."

From Josphine Tey's To Love and Be Wise.

I love this bit.  It is very clever, and I find myself agreeing with it, and yet, like Searle, I find calling love unwise a bit hard to swallow.  Is obsessive love that bad?

Yes.  I want to say probably, but in all honesty, it relates to the other quote:  losing your sense of proportion.

I'd also like to point out that although Tey often forgets speech tags when she gets going, this scene was unusual for having tags.  I have more than once had to count back in her dialog.

Tey could do huge chunks of dialog without tags.  I do not recommend it.  Never make your reader get lost, unable to tell who's speaking.  Speech tags are for the reader's sake.  They smooth the way, standing in for the voices unheard; when you don't use them, a reader will notice.

Not using speech tags is like having speed bumps.  Reading is slowed down.  Sometimes horribly impeded.

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