I have a story to go along with this.
My 6th grade English teacher was insane. Like, certifiable, I’m fairly certain. She was nice enough, but she was crazy as shit.
One day, about February-ish, we come to school and she’s standing outside of her classroom (like she did every day between classes) wearing all black and sobbing into a kleenex.
Naturally we were worried.
I had her 3rd period, I think, and I remember all of the classes were sworn to secrecy about what the fuck was going on. When we got there, she had candles all over (against the school rules, but hey, who gives a flying fuck, right?), all the lights were out, and there was a tiny coffin up at the front of the room, right in front of the blackboard. (Yes, that classroom had a blackboard. Cower before my antiquity, younglings.)
Okay, so that ruled out any of her family members being dead.
Once we’d all gotten settled into our seats, she came striding in, still tearful and noisy, to announce:
“S-s-s-said is DEAD!”
What the ever-loving shit, Mrs. Hester. What the ever-loving shit.
The rest of class was a dramatized funeral (read: we had to write essays and read them in front of the class) and the announcement, heralded by these sheets, that we were not allowed to use the word “said” any more, as it had passed away.
Apparently she does this every year.
I hope y’all realize that shit like ‘said is dead’ is what gives rise to the abominable purple prose used by writers such as Stephenie Meyer. She could have done with a few hundred saids instead of murmurs and mutters and whispers and chuckles and whatever the fuck else she used instead.
Like, there is nothing wrong with said. There is a reason said is so common—because it is the most likely to fit a given situation. None of the synonyms for said on this list are interchangable, either with each other or with the word itself. Each synonym listed has a slightly different meaning—if you demanded something from someone, the imagery is entirely different than if you conceded something, for example.
So please, please, please, before you use any of the words on this list, be sure you know what they actually mean and the context in which they should be used. If in doubt, use said, because said is the most neutral of the terms for having spoken something, and it is the least likely to make your readers roll their eyes across the floor because YOU CAN’T DRAWL SOMETHING EXCITEDLY FFS
(Also, before you use adjectives to ammend the word said, try and think—is there a word which means something is spoken that is essentially ‘said + this adjective’? For instance, instead of saying ‘she said forcefully’ you could say ‘she ordered’ or ‘she demanded’, assuming she is ordering or demanding something, implied by the ‘forcefully’ but further informed by the actual words themselves. Sometimes speech can stand on its own, after all, and sometimes it’s best to let the characters speak and let what they’re saying inform the mental image that arises in the reader’s mind—in which case even the word ‘said’ can be entirely superfluous.)