The nation’s various vocabulary, word and diction agencies announced a nationwide search today for the verb "said."
A first-of-its-kind collaboration, the massive online and offline hunt was prompted by what one wordsmith called a "total absence of a once-proud verb."
"It amazes me," said Dexter Poindexter, president of the American Word Protection Association (AWPA). "We’re literally witnessing a verbal ethnic cleansing aimed at what, until recently, had been a mainstay of the English language."
As proof, Poindexter and other fans of the English language, pointed to the near universal use of such substitute words as "like" and "goes," especially by the so-called Millenials.
Poindexter sighed and added, "All one hears today are young people using such phrases as:
- ‘…And I’m like….’
- ‘….And, then he goes….’
- ‘….So, they’re like……’"
According to the AWPA announcement, the verb "said" was last seen around the turn of the 21st century. He appeared to be in good shape at the time and, say officials, hadn’t expressed any concern about his declining use in printed or oral language.
"I distinctly remember Mr. Said being very happy, and really looking forward to observing the turn-of-the-century celebrations with his fellow verbs. Then, poof, he vanishes off the face of the earth," noted Martha Malaprop, executive director of Worldwide Words Institute (WWI).
"We don’t know if this is a conspiracy or some sort of heinous, new type of global terrorism," said Poindexter. "All we know is that we want ‘said’ back and we want him back now. ‘Nuff said?"
Anyone with information is urged to contact the AWPA or WWI websites (both of which have added special www.wheressaid.com hyperlinks and microsites).
Great comment, Sam. I remember being given two conflicting suggestions in college: my journalism professor insisted we use “said.” Our creative writing instructor actually penalized us if we didn’t find verb substitutes like the ones you listed. Neither, though, suggested “goes” or “like” as I recall.
The word is still alive in the journalism world, at least. I’ve been in the midst about whether said should almost always be the standard, or whether “stated,” “quipped,” “refuted,” “retorted,” “added,” “shouted,” and so on should be added. They add context, but they also add extra subjectivity. And I guess journalists have to be careful not to turn an article into a transcript of “He was like/she was like.”
But, in the world of journalism, it’s usually follow the leader, so as long as the elite journalists continue with a standard, it will be the usual game of “Simon goes.”
And, I was like: Boy, that Trish Taylor is different than everyone else. She’d never diss the verb “said.” Oh well, live and learn.
I caught myself doing this the other day and then couldn’t stop. I was really trying to stop the likes, but they kept on flowing and they did indeed, replace all, “saids.”