Oh mannnn. Dialogue tags. I remember when I first started writing and posting my stuff online (I must have been around eleven), I did all crazy extremes. At first, I did not label the people speaking, so someone told me to make that clear. Then, I used "he/she said" in every annoying line, even when it was just two people speaking for ten pages straight. So then I was told to vary it a little because repeating "said" fifty times in one page can be annoying.So of course, I took the advice the wrong way and color coded my dialogue tags like mad @_@LEARNING.I think I got better Dx. And honestly, I think I partially owe that to the infamous *"Sorry," apologized Brom*>.>
While I totally agree that using 'fancy' or even 'exotic' dialogue tags draws the reader out of the story, I am, as a reader, quickly annoyed by repititive use of 'said' and 'asked'. For me, it works best when there are about four different 'common' dialogue tags used (though my main language is German, and I mostly read German novels, so maybe there are less 'common' dialogue tags in English). Aside from that, I really like your aguments and think you made good points, especially the bit about the characters tone of voice. There are only so many authors that actually manage to create different tones of voice for their characters.
Actually I'm fond of such "common" dialogue tags as "replied" or "declared" or "added" or "commented" as well. I get mighty irritated when everything someone says is "growled" or "hissed," etc. But even the common ones don't need to be used as much as many people use them. You often don't even have to tell us who's speaking because what they say only makes sense for that person.
I was recently in a workshop where someone almost exclusively used the word "said." Other people pushed for her to vary her dialogue tags. I tried to disagree.Can I steal your arguments for the next time they meet?
Absolutely, you may "steal" the arguments. And make sure you emphasize that this is not just an opinion (although it is one); it is the opinion of the people who lead this industry. I generally hate making the argument from authority, but sometimes it has weight.