2

I'm talking with my clients on a daily basis, mostly via conference calls (only voice calls, without video).

Is it OK to take leave of them by saying "see you tomorrow" at the end of the meeting, although we never see each other? Is there maybe a more appropriate greeting for this situation, like "talk to you tomorrow"?

  • 1
    There is no well-established convention for this -- whatever works! – Hot Licks Jun 19 at 21:28
  • If they’re very informal clients, you might even get away with a simple TTYL (or does no one s— er, write that anymore?). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 19 at 22:43
  • 1
    They'd be happier if you greeted them at the start of the meeting though ;-) – Old Brixtonian Jun 19 at 23:26
  • @JanusBahsJacquet -- Or, especially for old Winnie-the-Pooh fans, TTFN. – Hot Licks Jun 20 at 2:53
  • @Old Brixtonian thanks for the subtle remark :-). I just discovered for the first time that "to greet" is actually only used when you see someone and not when you leave (in my language and many others, the same verb is used in both situations). I replaced it now with "to take leave" (had to search it on google to find the correct verb). I hope it's correct now and am happy to have learned this additionally :-) – Marko Previsic Jun 20 at 12:28
7

It's perfectly fine to use face-to-face or telephone metaphors when referring to online interactions. We haven't coined new terms for all the modern modes of interaction on the Internet. Much computer-related terminology is based on metaphors from the physical world, e.g. "desktops".

I think most people would say "talk to you tomorrow", since it accurately describes what they're doing in a voice-only call. But in informal conversation, when the context makes the mode of interaction clear, and it's not necessarily visual, you can use other words like "see you" (as Cascabel said in a comment, it's common for blind people to use the phrase "see you" even though they're incapable of doing it literally).

If you need to be specific, you can say things like "skype you tomorrow" -- some dictionaries have added this as a generic verb, e.g. Lexico

Have a spoken conversation with (someone) over the Internet using the software application Skype, typically also viewing by webcam.
‘my parents want to know when is a good time to Skype me’

I've also heard people use "Facetime" as a verb.

  • 'It's perfectly fine to use face-to-face or telephone metaphors when referring to online interactions' needs supporting evidence; as it is, it sounds like opinion. The fact that there are quite a few metaphors in use does not guarantee that other usages will be idiomatic. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 20 at 12:49
  • @EdwinAshworth I'm not a linguistics scholar, I'm not sure where I would find such evidence. I'm just reporting my experience as a native speaker, I hear such uses all the time. – Barmar Jun 20 at 15:24
  • I'm also happy to report what I consider to be valid experience, but if I can't find evidence supporting it, I confine such reports to 'comments'. Sometimes a chain of two or three. I think it devalues other answers if we give anecdotal evidence the same respectability as those supported by sound research. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 20 at 19:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.