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    #1

    cold-call

    It's an extract from a text about Mr. Job.

    "As a teenager in the late 1960's he cold-called his idol, Bill Hewlett, and talked his way into a summer job at Hewlett-Packard."

    There has been a dispute in class over the meaning of the verb "to cold-call", where I said that he got Bill's phone number who he'd never met in person. My class mates insisted on him paying an unexpected visit to his office. I've been looking it up in monolingual dictionaries and have been unable to come up with a defenition "to pay an unexpected business visit." All of them pretty much read the same "a telephone call made by a business to try to sell something". I need you to enlighten me on this one, please!

  1. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: cold-call

    I would agree that to "cold-call" means to telephone someone out of the blue and pitch a product or service in hopes that they won't hang-up and that they will buy what you're selling.
    The call doesn't necessarily need to be made by a "business". Like Mr. Jobs, it can be an individual selling himself !

    John
    Last edited by JohnParis; 08-Oct-2011 at 18:18.

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    #3

    Re: cold-call

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    I would agree that to "cold-call" means to telephone someone out of the blue and pitch a product or service in hopes that they won't hang-up and that they will buy what you're selling.
    The call doesn't necessarily need to be made by a "business". Like Mr. Jobs, it can be an individual selling himself !

    John
    It wouldn't be an unxpected business visit to his office,right? Do you guys ever use it for an unxpected visit?
    Last edited by ostap77; 08-Oct-2011 at 21:42.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: cold-call

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    It wouldn't be an unxpected business visit to his office,right? Do guys ever use it for an unxpected visit?
    It could be either an unexpected visit or an unexpected telephone call, in BrE.

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    #5

    Re: cold-call

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It could be either an unexpected visit or an unexpected telephone call, in BrE.
    So If I said "I cold-called customers, it would mean "I paid them a visit" in BrE ? Wouldn't there need to be the preposition "on" as in "I called on him last night."?

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: cold-call

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    So If I said "I cold-called customers, it would mean "I paid them a visit" in BrE ? Wouldn't there need to be the preposition "on" as in "I called on him last night."?
    It could mean that, yes. It could also mean that I telephoned them. No, "on" is not necessary.

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    #7

    Re: cold-call

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It could mean that, yes. It could also mean that I telephoned them. No, "on" is not necessary.
    As to the meaning in the sentence, would it be a call or a visit? If you need more context, I've got it.

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    #8

    Re: cold-call

    It's hard to tell from the text- to me, it really could be either.
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/10/obituary

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