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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
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 18:42
  • 2
    English is my second language but that sounds about right to me. What grammar rule am I breaking here?
    – Mansour
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 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
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 19:01
  • 6
    @tchrist "Make a (phone) call to someone" is perfectly acceptable in BrE. I would either "call X" or "make a call to X".
    – TrevorD
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 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
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 19:42

3 Answers 3

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

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  • So, escape call then?
    – Mansour
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 18:59
  • 1
    Yeah. That seems to work. Might need a hyphen. Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 19:01
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Apparently, these guys call it a 'get out' call.

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  • Which 'these guy's?
    – Mitch
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 11:06
  • @Mitch, the ones who made the getoutcall.com website. Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 12:03
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    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
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 12:30
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I think the term parachute call was used in a movie I watched recently. Does that ring a bell (heh, heh) for anyone else?

1
  • I can't see anything with this meaning on Google. Would be good to have a reference to someone using this.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 16:35

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