Is it acceptable English to use the verb meet in the context of a phone call or a video conference?

To provide a bit of background, I am writing an email to a business associate overseas. There is little chance of an actual face-to-face meeting taking place anytime soon, however a phone call or a video conference would obviously work fine.

I don't want to be the one to suggest a method of communication, but would rather let the business associate decide in what way would they prefer to conduct the conversation. For this reason, I was thinking of using a neutral verb, e.g. meet. Can I use a phrase such as "I hope we can meet to discuss topic X in the near future" in the context of a phone call or a video conference?

Intuitively, I would say that this sounds a little awkward. Nevertheless, given the fact that phone conference calls are often referred to as meetings, I was thinking that this sort of usage of the word might be acceptable after all. What do you think?

  • 1
    How about I hope we can find time to discuss. . .? Mar 20, 2011 at 18:51
  • Both are certainly acceptable. Neither sounds awkward. However, to me, “meet” at least slightly suggests a face-to-face meeting in a way that “have a meeting” doesn't. “I hope we can schedule a meeting to discuss X in the near future” is slightly clunkier than what you proposed, but if you're anxious to avoid the slightest misinterpretation, perhaps the extra words are worth it. Mar 20, 2011 at 18:52
  • Perhaps I should have been clearer - I want to use the word "meet" because a face-to-face meeting would actually be a welcome outcome from my point of view. The consensus seems to be that this kind of usage of the word is acceptable if a bit unusual, so I'm going to go ahead and use it in this form. Thanks for the replies.
    – user6328
    Mar 20, 2011 at 19:53
  • "The consensus" -- um, there was no such thing.
    – Jim Balter
    Apr 7, 2017 at 21:24

2 Answers 2


"meeting" certainly can be applied to phone conversations, but "meet" by itself strongly implies a physical encounter; if you want to be neutral, don't use it. I would simply omit "meet to", and say "I hope we can discuss ... in the near future" -- that is neutral.

  • In the context of business conference calls meeting is fine. I wouldn't have a problem with saying later that I'd just met someone for the first time in such a call. Indeed, I met one of my closest friends in an internet chat room over a decade ago, and I've said as much to people who've asked about that ever since. But I certainly wouldn't use meet for a future online business discussion the way OP proposes. Even if it weren't actually misunderstood, it would probably raise an eyebrow. May 11, 2011 at 22:42
  • @FumbleFingers I said that "meet" by itself strongly implies a physical encounter and you have provided no reason to think otherwise. When you tell people that you met someone in a chat room, "meet" is no longer "by itself" -- the specification of a chat room makes it clear that the meeting was not in meat space. But without such specifiers, the connotations are as I stated. Reread the OP's question to see the context and the issue that was being addressed.
    – Jim Balter
    May 11, 2011 at 23:19
  • "Reread the OP's question to see the context and the issue that was being addressed" -- ah, you did ... and you agree, so your comment serves no purpose.
    – Jim Balter
    May 11, 2011 at 23:25
  • I don't really understand what you're saying. My comment was intended to agree with and amplify your answer, and re-reading it now I can't see how I have failed to do that. Did you perhaps simply assume that any comment posted under an Answer must by definition be disputing that Answer? Or do you actually disagree with anything I said? I don't mind deleting my comments if you think they detract from your answer in some way, but I would like to know why. May 12, 2011 at 0:14
  • "I don't really understand what you're saying" -- Sad. "I can't see how I have failed to do that" -- sadder still.
    – Jim Balter
    Sep 13, 2014 at 20:14

I don't have a problem with that use of meeting. If it bothers you, you could always leave it out. Your sentence would make perfect sense without it.

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