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

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sun Nov 11 16:38:25 UTC 2012

On Nov 11, 2012, at 8:14 AM, "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:

> At 11/11/2012 10:06 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>> 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".
>> arnold
> Wouldn't one expect the alternative to things like "to email" to be
> simply "to phone"?

the alternatives, besides "to phone-call", are, at least: "to phone", "to call", "to call by phone", "to make a call", and "to make a phone call". it's common for a variety of alternatives to exist, often with subtle differences in meaning or use.  i don't see your point here.

>  Also, "to phone-call" can be perceived (at least
> I can) not just as N+N but also as Noun(Adj?)+V, the last being the
> form I wondered about -- to call using a particular device.

i said it was a verbing of a N+N compound.  that yields a N+V verb.


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