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A newspaper of the ruling Communist Party ( said Saturday ) that no religion is above the law in China, urging officials to stay firm while dealing with a rare protest over the planned demolition of a massive mosque in the northwest. is it said on Saturday ?

  • It's a slightly "loose" usage of to say, since we usually assume people say things using their mouth - which a newspaper doesn't have. But idiomatically it's perfectly natural, as shown by countless instances of things like (I believe everything) the Bible says. Or even My watch says it's quarter past 8 (which might refer to a "talking watch", but usually wouldn't even today). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 12 '18 at 13:23
  • ... I'd like to say you should think of to say as meaning to express [something] using words - but even that wouldn't cover more "extreme" usages such as my "non-talking watch" example. You're right that the optional preposition on could have been included in your exact cited context. But it's not necessary. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 12 '18 at 13:26
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When referring to something related to a named day, British English tends to use the preposition 'on' - I'll see you on Tuesday; he paid me on Friday. American English tends to omit the preposition - they said Saturday; I'll gladly repay you Tuesday.

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