Have you ever read something like this?
“Where are you going?” he queried.
“I’m headed to the store,” she whispered.
“Really?” he gasped.
“That’s right,” she breathed.
When I’m reading, the overuse of dialogue tags in a book catches my eye as if it’s in bold print. Odd or uncommon tags are even worse. Sometimes “said” is good enough.
In my house, we talk to each other. I would suspect most households are the same. My husband has never growled, or even grunted, “Pass the coffee, Dollface,” and to the best of my recollection, I’ve never wailed, “We’re out of shampoo!” He doesn’t roar or bellow when he’s angry—and frankly, I think that would scare the crap out of me if he did, since he has a deep voice. I might exclaim here or there, or shout to someone up the stairs, but I don’t gasp when the mailman drives up, even when the package says “Amazon” on it.
http://litreactor.com/columns/on-dialogue-tags-why-anything-besides-said-and-asked-is-lazy-writing has a great article on dialogue tags, and my favorite part of it is the very beginning:
Chortled is a verb. The definition is: To laugh in a breathy, gleeful way; chuckle. And it is a horrible, terrible, stupid word. For me it conjures the image of an obese woman laughing through a mouthful of spray cheese. I don’t know where it came from, but I do know we should send it back and light it on fire.
What a vivid mental image. The columnist, Rob Hart, describes expressive dialogue tags as “the laugh track of the literary world.” They tell, rather than show, what’s happening, and every writer in every part of the world who’s ever written a single word has heard the “show, don’t tell” speech. Ultimately it shows lazy or immature writing.
If you read the authors everyone recognizes as skilled, you’ll notice simple dialogue tags or none, in most cases. I’ll bet Stephen King doesn’t chortle. He probably laughs, just like the rest of us.