Is " someone says something" ( in the present) acceptable, and if yes , when?

Let's say I just got off the phone with someone, and they said they wouldn't make it on time. I've got someone in front of me waiting anxiously to hear what the person on the phone said.

I answer: "Jake says they won't make it, and wants us to go ahead without them."
How does it compare to " x said they wouldn't / won't make it and [....] " ?

I know this is mostly used in a general sense, as in: "He says it's not in the cards yet" (marriage, or whatever).

So my question is, when reporting something still relevant in the present ( something someone said a few days ago, last week, just a second ago etc), aside from the general sense when reporting something someone often says, is it acceptable to use the verb in the present rather than past simple?

The Independent published this article 8 hours ago: "Donald Trump Jr says his father can't be racist because 'of all the rappers' he has hung out with"

  • It is acceptable immediately after the fact because come on, you only just hung up, the two seconds don't matter. It is acceptable 8 hours after the fact because come on, you know exactly what The Independent means and also how are they even supposed to know that you will read the article tomorrow, should they change all their tenses for every single reader. And it is acceptable a million years after the fact, because that's the historical present. "It's 1945. Germany lies in ruins. The Russians are celebrating. The ones that are still alive, that is."
    – RegDwigнt
    Feb 7, 2018 at 11:38
  • And, like, all of that is acceptable in every language I am remotely familiar with, not just English. In writing, in speech, in songs, in movies, in YouTube comments, in letters to the Queen. This question strikes me as something a first-time visitor from Jupiter might ask.
    – RegDwigнt
    Feb 7, 2018 at 11:42
  • You've got me all figured out. I come from Jupiter. lol. Thanks for the answers.
    – Daniel
    Feb 7, 2018 at 15:51
  • 2
    @Daniel The previous answers could have tried to be more helpful. There are times I would only use 'says' and not 'said'. There is an implication when saying 'says' that "and you can expect the same answer next time", because you chose a state-of-being tense rather than a once-and-done tense. Few would make that distinction in everyday life, but it does exist. Feb 7, 2018 at 16:00


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