like 19 out of 20 people who call him

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Viktor Sorokin

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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 ?

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Route21

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

Would that help?

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R21
 

Viktor Sorokin

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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.
 

Route21

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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
 

SoothingDave

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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.
 

Barb_D

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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.
 
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