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Is there a generic term/noun for something one says. I'm specifically looking for something you say in a conversation, but maybe there is even a more generic term. I'm looking for a word like 'sentence', 'remark', 'reply', but these are too specific.

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Why is remark too specific? Perhaps to do with connotations of speaking about a particular thing? –  Samthere Aug 19 '11 at 14:10
    
"Vocalization" is about as generic as you're going to get. –  The Raven Aug 19 '11 at 14:38
    
@The Raven: I think "verbalization" would be better than "vocalization" since "vocalization" could imply noises that aren't actually words. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Aug 19 '11 at 15:15
    
@Samthere Remark sounds to me more like a stand-alone comment, not a part of a conversation, although a conversation could start with a remark. But maybe my feeling is wrong here. English isn't my first language and I only use it for Q&A sites. :) –  GolezTrol Aug 19 '11 at 16:07
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted
  • Verbalization (from FrustratedWithFormsDesigner)
  • Utterance
  • Vocalization (from The Raven)
  • Message
  • Word/s
  • Speech
  • Phrase (from Jeremy)
  • Statement

Remark seems good to me, too, but I'm not sure on how you want to use it.

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"Utterance" is more general than "statement", as it includes command, questions etc. –  Colin Fine Aug 19 '11 at 14:19
    
@Colin-Fine Yeah, it's the first one I thought of that seemed to cover the idea. I've added a couple more since so I put what I thought were more relevant words higher up. –  Samthere Aug 19 '11 at 14:22
    
I use phrase when I'm looking for a term to describe something that's anywhere from a word to a full sentence. –  Jeremy Aug 19 '11 at 15:23
    
@Jeremy Sure, that's decent, although it loses generality in only being able to apply to a small set of what was said. I think I'll add good suggestions to my list, though. –  Samthere Aug 19 '11 at 15:25
    
I didn't know of 'Utterance' at all. And it seems a very good option, as is 'Verbalization'. 'Vocalization' seems to refer more to the sound than to the meaning. 'Message' on the other hand implies meaning. Also 'Message' can be used regardless of the medium, where 'Vocalization' (and 'Utterance' too) can be used for speech only. So 'Utterance' and 'Message' seem to be the best answers to this question, depending on the context (or especially the medium). –  GolezTrol Aug 19 '11 at 16:25
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