For the record, I think Tortall is referring to things like this:
To you, the gray man says, "Hey."
as opposed to this:
The gray man says to you, "Hey."
I don't think she is refering to things like this:
Peering up at you, one bushy eye-brow raised, and stabbing a finger at your gut, the gray man says, "Hey."
There may not be a way to 'correctly' emote, but there are awkward and stuffy things possible with the incorrect use of say, tell, shout, etc.