Why Said Is Absolutely Not Dead


During the many long hours I have spent procrastinating on Pinterest, I have noticed a disturbing trend. “SAID IS DEAD,” the pins proclaim. “R.I.P SAID!”

Gentle readers, allow me to come to the defense of this most humble of dialogue tags. I, for one, am not ready to put it in the ground.

Said is a perfectly adequate word. Actually, it’s more than adequate; it’s the one you should use most often when attributing dialogue. You don’t want your characters to always be bellowing or whispering or hissing or snapping.

Take, for example, the following passage:

“I can’t believe he said that,” Jason fumed.
“I know,” Sarah deadpanned. “It’s ridiculous.”
“Is that what he really thinks?” he grumbled.
“It’s hard to say. Maybe?” she equivocated.

It’s over the top, right? It’s kind of like watching hammy actors in a B movie.

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