[I]n fiction writing and newspaper writing, the verb say is much more frequent than any other lexical verb; in conversation, the verbs go and know are as frequent as say, and get is more frequent than any of those three verbs; while in academic writing, the only especially frequent verb is BE.
Corpus Linguistics and Grammar Teaching
Monday, April 23, 2012
the joy of corpus studies, part 2
more from Biber and Conrad: