"We didn't have time to phone-call anybody." [NT]

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 10 18:59:58 UTC 2012

On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> Is this a [what-do-you-call-it]?  Like "rotary phone" was needed when
> keyed phones arrived.  What other "adjectives" besides "phone" are
> now attached to "call"?  "cell-call"?  "page-call"?  "IMS-call"?  Etc.

Yes. Saying it like that is really strange. The speaker was telling a
story about having had to rush his daughter to the hospital. So, he
was a little tense. He's a generation or so younger than I am. *I*
might have said, "… to make a phone-call."  That's the way that we
elderly talk. But, even under pressure, I wouldn't say, "to
phone-call." That would be illegal.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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