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Is there a dedicated expression for a pre-arranged phone call you receive to give you an opportunity to politely get out of a situation (e.g. a dinner date)?

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How do you "make a phone call to someone"? – tchrist Aug 17 '13 at 18:42
English is my second language but that sounds about right to me. What grammar rule am I breaking here? – Mansour Aug 17 '13 at 18:57
I don't think you are breaking any particular rule of English grammar, not exactly. Maybe just one of usage. It just does not sound right to "make a call to someone"; rather, you simply call someone. Somehow your set of words doesn't work right together, and I'm not sure I can clearly express why. It just comes down to that it sounds very unnatural to say that you would "make" a call "to" someone. You just call them. – tchrist Aug 17 '13 at 19:01
@tchrist "Make a (phone) call to someone" is perfectly acceptable in BrE. I would either "call X" or "make a call to X". – TrevorD Aug 17 '13 at 19:27
@tchrist I see. Since you're referring to the the title, I have to agree that it sounds a little mechanical and unnatural. I kind of rushed it. – Mansour Aug 17 '13 at 19:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

More generally, I'd call it an escape- plan/valve/hatch.

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So, escape call then? – Mansour Aug 17 '13 at 18:59
Yeah. That seems to work. Might need a hyphen. – luser droog Aug 17 '13 at 19:01

Apparently, these guys call it a 'get out' call.

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Which 'these guy's? – Mitch Aug 20 '13 at 11:06
@Mitch, the ones who made the getoutcall.com website. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 20 '13 at 12:03
Please make the answer self contained. Explain what this other site means by get out call. @JanusBahsJacquet: Oh, right, I wasn't following the link. – Mitch Aug 20 '13 at 12:30

I think the term parachute call was used in a movie I watched recently. Does that ring a bell (heh, heh) for anyone else?

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