Diana was off and looking for articles again to help with writing skills and I stumbled over 400 Alternative words for "Said". I think the best note in there was Don't use SAID at all unless you really need to distinguish who is speaking. And why use said, that terribly boring word when you can using one of these others for a little flavor! Some of my favorite: BARKED, EXCLAIMED, QUIPPED, and RETORTED. What do you like?