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October 8, 2005

Asserted, stated, shouted, claimed, admitted, explained, etc. do not equal SAID

After reading Chapter 7 in The AP Guide to Newswriting, I feel extremely guilty. When I first started writing articles for this class I felt that it was boring to only use said. In my own mind I considered it repetitious and bad writing. I realize now that in newswriting "said" is most of the time your best choice. The reason for this is that not all words that you may think mean said really mean it. I have listed examples from the book below:

Asserted, stated, and declared: all of these words are sometimes used for “said”, but they mean something much stronger. Think of when you use these words in everyday life. "Assert" is usually used when you are forcefully stating an opinion. "Declare" is usually used when you are forcing something. Example: You declare war. My mother declared that I was grounded for the rest of my life. You would not "declare" that you like cats.

Snap: I thought this was an interesting one because I never thought about it before. The book explains that when you snap it is usually one word, and not an entire statement. I now believe this is true. Look at the statement, "You are completely and totally wrong." You may use "snapped" after this, but try to say this whole sentence while "snapping." Most likely the only word you snapped was "wrong."

Admit: What types of things have you admitted to doing in your life? Moat likely the things you are thinking about are not very good things. Admit has a negative connotation. You admit to lying, cheating, stealing, etc. Go through a newspaper and insert "admit" for "said" and it will not work.

Posted by JennaOBrocto at October 8, 2005 12:42 PM


Oh Jenna,

I feel your pain. These are beautiful words that say so much more than said. Newswriting is so hard, because you have to be free from any emotional conveyance. I am really struggling with this, because to me my articles just look so bland. I am wondering if there would be a difference for magazine writing? For instance, if you read the highly scholastic magazine, Cosmo, the writers use more interesting verbs than said. Haha....since we know Cosmo is highly academic. But, truly, it seems so constrictive to do these articles. Isn't it nice to learn the correct format to follow, though?

Like you, I am having some troubles keeping my opinions from the pieces. This is just something I suppose we will struggle with until the end of the semester, but certainly it is worth it to learn how to write - sans bias.

Posted by: Katie Aikins at October 9, 2005 3:13 PM

"I like cats," declared the frail, sickly shuttle van driver.

Posted by: Michael Dell at October 11, 2005 3:07 AM

I'm a fan of "countered." It's nice.

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at October 12, 2005 11:02 PM

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