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    #1

    like 19 out of 20 people who call him

    Looking for a new, less poultry-intensive plan, I called Andrew Morton, who does philanthropy law for athletes, actors and singers. He told me that, like 19 out of 20 people who call him, I didn't want to start my own charity.
    (Sweet Charity
    By Joel Stein Monday, Dec. 03, 2012)

    The bolded phrase is obscure to me. I'm afraid I have no idea what it could mean
    Especially, what does call mean in this context ?

    Thank you

  1. Route21's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: like 19 out of 20 people who call him

    As an NES but not a teacher, I believe that, in that context, "called" means "telephoned".

    Would that help?

    Regards
    R21

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    #3

    Re: like 19 out of 20 people who call him

    one question...
    it means:
    He told me that, like 19 out of 20 people (who call him) had told, I didn't want to start my own charity.
    or
    He told me that, like 19 out of 20 people (who call him) didn't want to start their own charity, I also didn't want to start my own charity.

  2. Route21's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: like 19 out of 20 people who call him

    I'm not sure, but there may be a case for reading it two ways:

    1. 95% of those who call him say they don't want to start their own charity or
    2. He advises 95% of those who call him not to start their own charity.

    Regards
    R21

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    #5

    Re: like 19 out of 20 people who call him

    Quote Originally Posted by Route21 View Post
    I'm not sure, but there may be a case for reading it two ways:

    1. 95% of those who call him say they don't want to start their own charity or
    2. He advises 95% of those who call him not to start their own charity.

    Regards
    R21
    I would think the latter.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: like 19 out of 20 people who call him

    I agree.
    Athlete #1 calls him and says "I want to start my own charity." He listens and says "That's actually not a good idea."

    That same holds true for Athletes 2-10, except somewhere in that mix, one has an idea that really does merit his own charity.

    In other words, many people start out thinking like the writer of that sentence, but they are usually wrong in their approach.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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