Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A quick humorous snippet from the beginning of Iron Man (2008):

-Tony: I feel like you're driving me to court martial. This is crazy. What did I do? I feel like you're gonna pull over and snuff me...What, you're not allowed to talk? Hey, Forest...

-Soldier A: We can talk, sir.

-Tony: Oh, I see. So it's personal?

-Soldier B: No, you intimidate them.

-Tony: Dear God, you're a woman! I honestly, I couldn't have called that. I mean, I would apologize, but isn't that what we're going for here? I thought of you as a soldier first.

-Soldier B: I'm an airman.

-Tony: Well you have actually excellent bone structure there. I'm kinda... having a hard time not looking at you now. Is that weird? C'mon, it's OK, laugh. Hey!

-Soldier C: Sir, I have a question to ask.

-Tony: Yes, please.

-Soldier C: Is it true you went 12-for-12 with last year's Maxim cover models?

-Tony: That is an excellent question. Yes and no. March and I had a scheduling conflict, but fortunately the Christmas cover was twins. Anything else?

I cannot decide which meaning of call applies here. I would use identify.

Does 12-for-12 mean 12 consecutive months here? Is it an adverbial, splitting went from with? Would it be OK to say 12-out-of-12 or 12-in-12 instead?

share|improve this question
    
This is a similar phrase. –  Samuel Lijin Jun 30 at 22:46

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

"Call" here means predict. From dictionary.com: to indicate or characterize accurately in advance; predict, e.g. It is often difficult to call the outcome of an election.

12-for-12 is a measurement of completion. The thing being measured is entirely implied and could, in general, be anything. For example, to go "12-for-12" in free throws in the sport of basketball means to be successful on all 12 attempts. These 12 attempts could all be in the same game, in different games, over the course of a season, etc.

Here "12-for-12" is kind of vague without more information, but presumably it means that that Tony made 12 attempts to date or have sex with the 12 cover models of last year's Maxims, and that all attempts were successful, except that there were actually thirteen because of one pair of twins, etc.

share|improve this answer
    
nap, it's 12. March's girl was in conflict with his schedule ;) –  Kinzle B Jun 30 at 16:42
    
@Z - in that case, he went 12-for-13. –  J.R. Jun 30 at 17:06
2  
@J.R. But 12-for-12 measuring by covers. Hence yes and no. –  StoneyB Jun 30 at 19:00
1  
@StoneyB, technically if you're measuring by covers, then it's 11-for-12 :p –  Samuel Lijin Jun 30 at 22:42
    
@SamuelLijin Well, yes and no :) 12 women for 12 covers. –  StoneyB Jun 30 at 22:57

I believe the use here of "for" instead of "in" or "out of", is due to the speaker talking about the attempt, not the actual results. So Tony Stark tried for 12 successful encounters. See "go for": "I'm going for the 12 maxim cover models."

The speaker basically replaced "go for" with "went for", as the question relates to past events.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.