Sunday, October 19, 2008

Word of the Week: robo-call

I first heard this week's word of the week (robo-call) this morning when Colin Powell used it on Meet the Press. Of course, Powell didn't stop and define it (for those like me who had never heard of the word), but from the context I figured he was referring to those annoying taped phone messages we've all received -- often from telemarketers, but also from various political groups.

When I heard the word, I made a mental note of it, but I didn't rush to look it up or anything. But then, about an hour later, I was reading an article in the Sunday Toronto Star and the word came up in an Associated Press article about -- you guessed it -- the U.S. election. This time, not only did I make a mental note of it (and the fact that it was hypehnated, making it, basically, a compound adjective), I decided to look it up on

Given that I suspect the term is of fairly new, I wasn't surprised I couldn't find in on I then turned to -- the great resource for new words. To my surprise, robocall wasn't listed there either.

So, though I never intended Word of the Week to be on the cutting edge of new words, I'm not opposed to the idea either. Therefore, I offer "robo-call" -- those taped phone messages sent out using an automated calling system. Mind you, I'm not condoning robo-calls, I'm just saying that it seems there is now a name for those annoying calls!


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