Thanks, Switch, seeing your example on the [electronic] page make the point clear. I agree with Ernest and your point, but saw them as two legitimate options, rather than a single right/wrong decision.
Switch, I really dislike single-sentence paragraphs. (I see it as lazy writing.) Stringing together multiple single-sentence paragraphs just sets my teeth on edge. I think I side with Ernest on this, that the focus is on Delilah (the first speaker), and while Betty is acting (blushing), she's not actually saying anything.
Did your editor see this example? What did she think?
Awnlee, different story entirely. I'm sure I had a similar situation somewhere, but she deleted SO much text, I have to wander through the entire mess a line at a time before I'll know.
Though, I've got to admit, she was sneaky. Instead of marking all my serial quotes as errors--as she'd pointed out before--she simply reduced all my multiple point lists to single items, reducing my entire plot to a single suspect, a single action and a single motive. I was trying to present a chaotic environment which reflected the situation the character finds herself in, and she reduced it to sheer simplicity.
Funny, I think this is one case where the whole compound-word [!] thing doesn't apply.
Switch, I think I agree with Bondi in this case. It isn't a do-not-walk sign, it's a "DON'T WALK" sign (I've never seen "DO NOT WALK" either spelled out of written in mixed case).
On second thought, I also agree with Sejintenej. You've got no way of knowing which countries have "WALK"/"DON'T WALK" signs, or in which usages. Thus it makes no sense making it American citizen dependent. I'd go with "don't-walk sign" to avoid cultural confusion.
Switch, it's definitely "DON'T WALK". They reduced it to two words to make the message shorter, requiring smaller neon. As I said, I've never seen it spelled out in any of my travels (if the can't afford the electronics, they substitute red and green hand signs).
To All, when I asked, I doubted we'd find a complete consensus, but I think we've got enough of a plurality to feel comfortable with my initial approach. (I personally like interspacing dialogue with action tags to indirectly identify characters and speakers.) An action is an indirect tag, it's not dialogue, and it sure heads 23-straight "XXX said".
Thanks all, the discussion was appreciated.