Contact (see New Verbs)
From 'Vocabulary' part of The ABC Of Plain Words by Sir E Gowers (1951)

If contact is to be admitted as a verb, its justification must be, as Ivor Brown has said, that "there is no word which covers approach by telephone, letter and speech, and contact is self-explanatory and concise". The "contact-man", we may be sure, needs a word to describe him which will include every conceivable method of approach.

It is therefore pointless to write "It would be appreciated if you would either write or contact this office". The words "either write or " are superfluous. Contact as a verb can only be allowed to live if it saves us the trouble, of saying "write or telephone or call ". Even so it excites such violent antipathy in some people that it is better to avoid it for the present and to write get in touch with instead.

« Guide » « ABC of Plain Words » « Use Of English » « Library » « Home »