1

This is my first question.

I am trying to figure out the following:

  1. In a text, where a conversation is detailed which took place over multiple days, but between the same two people, mostly in direct speech. Should this be mentioned as a series of dialogues or a dialogue? For example, 'This is a series of dialogues between him and her.' OR 'This is a dialogue between him and her.'

  2. Somewhere else in the same text, should I refer to the conversations as dialogues or dialogue? For example, 'These dialogues are different from others.' OR 'This dialogue is different from others.'

I think answer to point 1 will answer point 2 to a great extent. Please let me know if more information is required from me.

EDIT: Found only this resource where series of dialogues is used to explain the definition. However, I am unable to get a clear idea on whether it should be singular for point 2 or not. Link to researched resource - Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Looking forward to learning something new.

Thank you.

2
  • 1
    Not sure why a new contributor's first question is getting downvotes without comments. Care to leave some constructive feedback?
    – gotube
    May 28, 2023 at 14:17
  • Have you read my answer about the two meanings??
    – Lambie
    May 30, 2023 at 20:23

3 Answers 3

-1

The OP asked

Should this be mentioned as “a series of dialogues” or “a dialogue”?

The OP's reservation is warranted; Google yields only 83 results for "a series of dialogues", which is not very encouraging, but it does suggest that some authors use this particular construction.

The dialogues could be with the same two people spread over a period of time or they may transcribe a number of discussions between different people.

Meanwhile, the noun phrase "a series of conversations" produces a slightly more respectable 135 results. Examples include:

  • This book comprises a series of conversations between Laura Dern and her mother, the actress Diane Ladd
  • …we see the wisdom, humour and curiosity of Richard Feynman through a series of conversations with his friend Ralph Leighton.
  • (book title) A Series of Conversations with a Younger Sister, After Returning from Journeys in France, Italy, Malta, and Turkey
4
  • @Lambie I agree but why are you telling me?
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 28, 2023 at 15:07
  • The OP already knows that the noun "dialogue" after "series" is plural. The question is whether they should use the singular "dialogue" or the plural "dialogues" . In a movie, we can talk about the dialogue as being memorable, effective, etc. Do we use "dialogue" in the same way between two people if it is repeated and spread over time?
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 28, 2023 at 15:37
  • @Lambie the OP specifically asks: Somewhere else in the same text, should I refer to the conversations as “dialogues” or “dialogue”? Google is a source, it provides evidence that the construction "series of dialogues/conversations" is valid.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 28, 2023 at 15:43
  • Never mind, I changed my mind about what to say here. :)
    – Lambie
    May 28, 2023 at 16:03
-1

conversations over multiple days can be called: a series of dialogues. That is better than the plural dialogues here.

But care should be taken here. "dialogue" can have a broader meaning used in the singular. Once you have a basis for discussing something with someone, that "thing" can be the dialogue, the relationship you have established.

"Over the past weeks, we have managed to find a common dialogue. We are trying to solve the problem. And we hope to continue it will into the future." There dialogue can be singular as it is an abstract idea. There, one supposes they have spoken more than once.

You could end up with all with these two: dialogue and a series of dialogues. "dialogue" ends up being an "abstract noun" in this usage.

"Dialogue is a positive thing. Not having one can be very bad."

However, for the over multiple days, I would use a series of dialogues. But for the relationship, I would call it a dialogue, and not dialogues with an s.

"We established no dialogue between us during the five-day conference."

1
  • downvoter: tsk, tsk, tsk.
    – Lambie
    Jul 9, 2023 at 18:48
-1

Both words, dialogue and conversation, as well as other words such as discourse, discussion and debate can be used differently to mean either a single instance of discussion or speech, or a series of exchanges on a single subject or issue over an extended period of time.

Examples:

  • I had a conversation with my friend, yesterday.
  • We will be having this conversation over the coming weeks.
  • We had a debate in class today.
  • This debate has been raging for years.
  • I have a good dialogue with my employer.
  • This is an interesting piece of dialogue.

It may come down to a stylistic choice whether to refer to a series of discussions in the plural or to refer to it as a single discussion, but it could have an impact on meaning - grouping them may demonstrate that they were all on the same theme or collectively part of an organised effort to resolve something.

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