[Ads-l] calling time

Benjamin Barrett mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 22 19:02:38 UTC 2016

Like Adrienne LaFrance (http://theatln.tc/28MTEi7, “Remember When You Could Call the Time?”, The Atlantic), I recall calling the telephone number to get time as a form of a childhood adventure, participating in phone calls on my own without incurring a charge or having to deal with a scary grown-up.

However, I recall “calling time” without the article. Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/call_time) offers examples without the article though not for this meaning, and the Oxford Dictionary site doesn’t have this as a verbal phrase.

According to LaFrance, there are millions of people who still call to get the time each year, particularly when there is a switch for daylight savings.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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