Which is the correct phrase: "roll call" or "role call"?


A "roll call" is a list of names that is read aloud, typically for attendance purposes. For instance, a classroom teacher takes a roll call to determine whether any of the students are absent.

The words "role" and "roll" are easily confused because of their identical pronunciations and similar spellings. "Role" has several meanings. It refers to a part that an actor plays as well as a person who serves a specific function within a group. However, the word "roll" indicates a list of names or objects that have something in common. This is the definition from which "roll call" arises.

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