Is the correct or incorrect (or acceptable either way) in the following constructions (examples taken from COCA)?

It hereby is recommended to the said Legislatures to authorize an immediate and earnest application to be made to the government.

Both men made their way to the said room.

A parachutist must be buried in close proximity to the said site of impact.

We determined point values assigned to said questions.

The relationship lasted a few months, and ended many months prior to said song's release.

I cannot find a good explanation for either.

  • Please don't use acronyms unless previously defined – Paul Childs Mar 22 '18 at 11:26
  • @PaulChilds: You can find a list of commonly used acronyms related to the English language on the Meta site: List of common abbreviations and acronyms. – sumelic Mar 22 '18 at 14:31
  • Suds, did you have a typo in the title? I assume "to" is supposed to be "the", but I'm not quite sure enough to edit it myself. – sumelic Mar 22 '18 at 14:31
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    Might have meant "to ... said" as that is what the examples are, though other conjunctions are equally applicable. – Paul Childs Mar 22 '18 at 19:32
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    @sumelic Indeed any preposition is applicable. 'to' was just an example. – Suds Mar 23 '18 at 12:04

With or without an article, words like said, such, same, and here/there- prepositional compounds are legal jargon, mostly antiquated, born out of the necessity to specify nouns unambiguously. Said, such, and same can also function as determiners rather than adjectives, thus the lack of the definite article. Normal mortals would use the definite article alone, demonstrative or personal pronouns, or in a worst case scenario, the [noun] mentioned above for said. The desire for precision, however, often led to opacity:

According to said certificate the title to said land is in the name of Anna Derksen, which is sufficient to enable her to convey said premises to the State upon the delivery of a proper deed, subject to the following incumbrances:

  1. In the deed of Edward Cunningham and wife dated April 28, 1923, granting said premises to Anna Derksen, the following clause appears after the description: "Excepting from the same all the minerals of whatever kinds with the right to remove the same."

  2. The taxes for the year 1924 are unpaid and constitute a lien.

Your attention is directed to the fact that before acceptance is made of the deed you should obtain the certificate of the Director of Finance to the effect that the funds are available for such purchase, which such certificate should accompany said certificate of title and deed when it is presented to the Auditor of State.

Said certificate of title is being returned herewith.

C. C. Crane
Attorney-General [of Ohio].

This type of prose far more resembles that of the nineteenth century than anything written in 1920s America. Contemporary legal documents — except for aforementioned and the ubiquitous here-/there prepositional compounds — are generally less jargoned, not only because of a need for clarity and understanding, but also because few attorneys today can manage the register of a nineteenth century barrister as well as Crane.


"said" here means the same as aforementioned. With "said" though, you can sometimes get away without having to mention what it refers to (it can either be implicitly determined - eg the impact site - or be a statement that can be generalised to different situations - potentially the said legislaturs) Due to the tie in to a particular context it is identified by the definite article "the said".

The second last example is different because it is plural. In such a case it can go either way depending on whether the questions are viewed as a group. As point values aren't (no definite article marking them) neither is said questions.

The last one doesn't seem right to me at all.

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