The Good Wife

Why is "phone" used as a verb on The Good Wife?

CBS' taut legal drama The Good Wife, starring Julianna Margulies, takes place in modern-day Chicago... But you'd never know it to hear the characters talk. (Sample dialogue: "Let me know when he phones!") We counted several occurrences of this phrase during a recent scene, with folks of every age and creed hilariously bandying about variations on the awkward verbiage. Whatever happened to the word "call"? It's always been good enough for the rest of us!

According to veteran screenwriter Lawrence Meyers (Crossing Jordan, Picket Fences), author of the new book Inside the TV Writer's Room: Practical Advice for Succeeding in Television, "It often has to do with where showrunners are from or how they spoke when they were raised." That seems to be the case with The Good Wife exec producer Robert King. "I usually say 'phone,' so it probably started with me," he says. "But I've been hearing that people are noticing it [on the show]. We might have some fun with it in an upcoming episode where the judge is obsessed with the word and keeps saying, 'Was it "phone" or "call?"'"

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