Let’s close the week going back to the little word said.
We normally encourage the use of said, and celebrate it, for its bland inoffensiveness,. It is invaluable in good dialogue precisely because of its insouciant transparency. Yet this doesn’t mean its in any way a “weak” verb, to be sneered at and avoided. It describes, simply and lucidly, the act of speech itself—the whole complexity of human utterance contained within
a single syllable. Do not underestimate said—it is a verb of great vigour and power.
Here’s a song that demonstrates remarkably well that said is anything but a colourless verb. Put in this setting, like the most limpid diamond, if flashes with startling force. The simple phrases ‘she said’ and ‘I said’ aren’t simple at all in this context—still less flattening and redundant. Seen like this, said is art.