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I have found in a novel the sentence “I have made a call: to make a call.” The context is: the female main character is on the run and distressed, and to try and fix her problems she calls a former fiancé, in a hope to manipulate him.

Is “I have made an X[:] to make an X” a standard phrase? Is it a hidden quotation? Or could it be a play on the different meanings of “call” (phone call, call for help etc.)?

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closed as general reference by MετάEd, coleopterist, FumbleFingers, tchrist, Cameron Oct 6 '12 at 5:44

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This is not a standard phrase or idiom but rather, as you suggest, a play on two different meanings of "make a call." The first use is in the sense of making a decision, and the second in the sense of telephoning someone.

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Thanks for explaining it. I didn't get the meaning, specifically of the first half, until you explained it. – Colin Fine Sep 23 '12 at 12:08
English is not my mother tongue. Is “decision” one of the meanings of “call”? Or is it in the phrase “make a call”? I can't seem to find it in my dictionaries. – DaG Sep 23 '12 at 12:25
I believe this use of "call" is from sense (i) under the definitions of "call" as a noun found at "the selection of a play in [American] football." – James McLeod Sep 23 '12 at 15:10
@James McLeod: Sometimes. Other times it implies the options are finely balanced even if there's plenty of time - it was a close call, but after a long debate the jury convicted her – FumbleFingers Sep 24 '12 at 1:09
@DaG: Yes, that's one of the word's meanings. See meaning #58 at Collins. (Or, if you'd rather not visit the link, you can just take my word for it – that's your call.) – J.R. Sep 24 '12 at 9:58

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