Because they are weak modifiers. There are usually stronger words that can be used.
I'm not sure I see why "stronger" is the same thing as "better." We're not talking about armwrestling here.
This is the problem I have with people trying to tell me what not to do. Half the time the only reason seems to be "because that's how it is."
Also, adverbs tend to involve more telling in places where showing may be more appropriate. (Yes, yes. I know... Telling vs Showing).
Yeah, that's another issue people tend to take way too seriously.
It's not that you can't use adverbs.
Shockley sure seemed to think we shouldn't, which is the sort of inflexible attitude I was actually reacting to.
There are plenty of really good authors who use adverbs (Gaiman for one). It's just that they should be used sparingly and when other, stronger words will not have the same desired effect.
If you look back, you may notice this is pretty much exactly the point I was trying to make.
I wish I could remember the source because it explained the concept better. My quite spotty recollection is that:
1. You want speech tags to be invisible.
What, all the time? Why?
2. Regardless of whether you use "Joe said" or "said Joe," the reader will get used to the construct.
3. Alternating draws attention to the construct.
Not if I do it often enough that the reader gets used to it.
If you read ten books that goes "Joe said" and then pick up a book that goes "said Joe", of course you're going to notice that but as you say, it is acceptable with enough consistency. The same should apply to a mixed approach, I think.
On a personal note, I read Danny and the Dinosaur to my two year old last night. The author switched from "the dinosaur said" to "said the dinosaur" a few times, and I found it jarring. However, I don't know if I would have noticed if I hadn't read that the practice is "wrong."
And that is why you shouldn't take writing advice as gospel unless the person giving it can back it up with solid reasoning, or if you can see clearly why it makes sense to you.
EDIT: Meant to make clear - I don't think this rule is necessarily a big deal. The vast, vast majority of readers are not going to notice.
Which is a good indicator that it may not be quite as important as we writers like to make it out to be.
I've noticed that they usually actually do absolutely nothing to change the meaning of your sentence.
I've noticed they do nothing to change the meaning of your sentence.
Balderdash. The upper sentence is a lot more specific than the lower one. "Usually" tells me that it doesn't happen all the time, while "absolutely" tells me that when it does happen, it always fails at its purpose. (In other words, you are trying to emphasize that adverbs really are useless except on the rare occasions when they aren't.)
The lower sentence simply tells me that adverbs never have any effect, 100% of the time.
(I admit "actually" is a bit uneccessary here, though.)