I've seen a lot of advice that says you should scrap all non-'said' dialogue tags. I can see the value of this, but I'm not sure how to make it work in every instance.
It's pretty easy to show things like questions and exclamations through language and context without having to use 'creative' dialogue tags, but what about something like whispered? Is proximity enough? If I say someone 'leaned in and said something in so-and-so's ear' would that do it? That example feels like 'whispered in [x]'s ear' is such a common (cliché) phrase, that it would be more jarring to not have 'whispered'.
Is 'whispered' an exception to the rule or is it just me?