what someone said
Posted: 22 October 2007 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]
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We use this fairly frequently on this forum when we agree with the previous comment (eg “What Myridon said” in the “Most common typos” thread).  How long has it been in use?

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Posted: 23 October 2007 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve often thought it just a bit curious that we often use “...said” on forums rather that “wrote”.

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Posted: 23 October 2007 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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My guess is that the “what he said” form is relatively recent, about 20 years or so. I’m not going to attempt a search. The false positives on a phrase like this is just too daunting.

As to the “said” v. “wrote,” it may have to do with the immediacy of the comments. People may not relate to a forum like this as a written exchange, with all the attendant deliberation and editing, and think of it more as a conversation.

Then again, “to say” has long been used to include the written form. I’m reading thousand-year-old manuscripts where one monk refers to another monk’s writing using “say” ("secgan").

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Posted: 23 October 2007 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It’s remarkable (but maybe it isn’t) that the same goes for Dutch ‘zeggen’. Actually WNT gives as one of the formal meanings of the word ‘to inform in writing’.

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Posted: 24 October 2007 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I agree with Dave’s comment about the immediacy of text messaging or posting as possibly being a reason for using “say” rather than “write”.

However, we also tend to forget that the technology has gone neyond what was originally thought of as writing.  The word ‘to write” still to my mind has a connotation of inscription or writing on a paper with a pen or pencil.

The invention of the typewriter created an initial change where the words “write” or “type” were somewhat interchangeable—you can type or write a letter on a typewriter (with “type” being used more to emphasize the mechanics of the process).  Essentially the writing implement or means of inscription changed—but the paper remained.

Now, with a computer, the paper is eliminated so there is no real inscription taking place.  The only connection with writing is the distinction between visual and aural communication.  And as voice recognition software becomes more sophisticated, we may see communication that is aural when delivered and visual when received. 

I think given the changes in technology, both words “say” and “write” can be seen as stretching old words for application to new technology (as with the use of the word “ship” in “ship by overnight courier").

Arguably, both are equally applicable to communicating by computer.

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Posted: 27 October 2007 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Completely off-topic, almost, there’s a great “what you said” here which film buffs might enjoy:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9crnz6vQg

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