“Hello World!” said THE Abyss.

3 min readMay 12, 2021

on short stories and dialogue punctuation

“Hello World!” said THE Abyss.
Image by Author — “Hello World” is all about who makes the greeting isn’t it.

You don’t get to write a lot of dialogue in professional and technical writing.

So I had to use Google and look up these guys recently:

Which then became the seed of a new Hello World (see portfolio for my old ones).

You can take a guess at my professional background just by my choice of two words right? Hello World. “Oldy but a goldy”. And if you can’t, then we probably don’t share that background. Please don’t let that be an obstacle.

This hello world became a (very) short story instantly for me just by adding a who said it.

“Hello World!” said THE Abyss.

Sudden I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Who had awoken THE Abyss, why it was THE Abyss, not just ‘the’.

And why was there an exclamation mark? Was the Abyss cackling gleefully? In anger maybe? Or was it a playful happy greeting, maybe this was going to be a Terry Pratchett story.. (We miss you Terry!)

But if you were to start typing that line into Medium, do you know what happens when you add that exclamation mark?

It capitalises the S in said.

Medium got it wrong!

or was that my Android editor.

Maybe it should be Google got it wrong?

Because if you edit with Google you’ll find the very (well, mostly) helpful autocorrect ain’t all that correct as far as writing dialogue goes.

Hence my need to look up the advice.

And fancy that, rule six of the essential 8:

Don’t capitalise unless the sentence is over.

That’s not the complete rule. But ‘Hey Google' are you listening? Oh and you too Medium.

Maybe it’s because neither of them seem to really care about authors writing dialogue?




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