I was reading Gina Kolata’s piece “Mysterious Maladies” in today’s NY Times when I was stopped by this quote:
People are “squished into categories that don’t really fit or they are given a medicine and said to take it — if you feel better you have the disease,” [Dr. Aronowitz] said.
To me, “said to take it” can mean only one thing: it is said that they take it. But the intended meaning is clearly “told to take it.” My guess is that this is an error, either on Aronowitz’s part (a slip of the tongue) or introduced by Kolata or an editor in unknown circumstances, but I know better by now than to assume my judgment of English usage matches with those of less grizzled users of the language, so I put it to you, Varied Reader: can you interpret “said to take it” in the intended way, or is it clearly an error?
Update. Just heard back from Ms. Kolata; she says it’s an exact quote from Dr. Aronowitz.