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Boss: I'm going to fire him. (him=Will)

Employee: You can't do that!

Boss turns to the group of employees.

Boss: Who said that?!

Employee: I did. You can't do it. Will doesn't deserve this.

Hi. I wrote this. I was told that the boss' second line of dialog is wrong and that it should be Who said so?! instead. Is that really so?

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    No, your original is correct.
    – D M
    Feb 16, 2021 at 15:33
  • 7
    Who said that? asks about a remark that the questioner has heard. Who said so? asks about a reported opinion, not necessarily uttered in the questioner's presence. Feb 16, 2021 at 16:05

2 Answers 2

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Who said that? - questioning who said something

Given Employee’s response, i.e., “it was me,” your construction is absolutely correct. Who said so? - questioning the legality of the act

“Who said so?” is the classic response of the bully.

Who is going to contradict my statement? It is not actually directed at Employee, unless Employee knows the legal framework of termination. But then Employee’s assertion of “Will doesn’t deserve it” would be absolutely moot; she would have to answer another way, like, as the previous answerer said, you would eliminate the “I did” and say, “I’m not absolutely certain, but if you check the manual, I think you will see that [X] is not an act that is cause for termination.”

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Who said that

In this case you are correct.

The qualifier is in penultimate and last lines. The Boss tries to find out who has said something and the reply comes.. Employee: I did. You can't do it. Will doesn't deserve this.

Who said that - questioning who said something

you are relating to who asked the question, whilst who said so would be relating to if the Boss's action was correct.

Who said so - questioning the truth of the statement

You may use who said so: only if you change the penultimate line to "so" and re-write the last line as Employee: You can't do it. Will doesn't deserve this

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