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to choose to deliver a message by telephone when etiquette demands the effort and respect conveyed by in person communication

Additional definitions for 'phone it in':

phone it inTo fulfill a responsibility with a minimum effort rather than the appropriate level of effort.
phone it into make an unseemly timid performance; to be restrained and timid when bold action is called for
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"phone it in." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.phrases.net/phrase/phone-it-in_14145>.

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