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

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sun Nov 11 15:06:30 UTC 2012

On Nov 11, 2012, at 6:27 AM, Damien Hall <damien.hall at NEWCASTLE.AC.UK> wrote:

> Joel asked:
> '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.'
> That's a retronym, isn't it?
> A fairly common pre-modifier for 'call' is 'voice', to distinguish plain old telephone conversations from video ones.  There are no doubt others!

i don't think that phone calls here are being contrasted with other types of *calls* -- but with e-mail(s), tweets, texting, etc., so "to phone call" is an alternative to "to email", "to tweet", "to text", etc., not to "to X call" for varous Xs.

that is, "to phone call" is just a verbing of the N+N compound "phone call".


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