the trooper pulled over a motorist for a traffic violation, said motorist shot him.

here Gaear Grimsrud is not a motorist,then motorist refers to who?

  • 1
    This isn't really about English, IMO, more about Marge's supposition. She believes it's the motorist (i.e. driver) who shot, which makes sense to her, since she doesn't know whether there was a passenger. She doesn't know who the motorist is, either, just that someone was driving the car.
    – eijen
    Jul 17, 2016 at 12:52
  • 1
    The sentence is also made more confusing by the fact that it's not really correct - it should be "the trooper pulled over a motorist for a traffic violation, and said motorist shot him" or "the trooper pulled over a motorist for a traffic violation; said motorist shot him." Those are two independent clauses, and the writer should not have joined them with a comma splice.
    – stangdon
    Jul 18, 2016 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


Said is being used in a slightly unusual way here. From dictionary.com:

Said ... adjective ... Chiefly Law. named or mentioned before; aforesaid; aforementioned

So, "said motorist" means the motorist that was just mentioned. It could be replaced with "that motorist" or "the same motorist", without changing the meaning.

This is a somewhat formal usage, but not as formal as using the full form, aforesaid. It might be used in a courtroom, or occasionally in a newspaper or an academic paper. Or, apparently, in an IMDB plot synopsis.

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