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a document that informs of a visit; widely used in diplomatic protocol.
The card bears the title, name, position of its owner, and sometimes his address and telephone number. The head of a Soviet diplomatic embassy can also have a calling card on which only the words “Ambassador of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” or “Envoy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” are printed.
A calling card takes the place of personal visits. Depending on the actual circumstances, the following abbreviated inscriptions are usually made in pencil or ink in the bottom left corner of the calling card: p. f. (pour feliciter), for congratulation; p. r. (pour remercier), for expressing thanks; p. c. (pour condoler), for expressing sympathy; p. p. c. (pour prendre conge), for a farewell visit or upon departure from a country being visited; and p. p. (pour presenter), for the personal introduction or recommendation in absentia of another person (which is sent simultaneously with the calling card of the person being recommended).
The calling card is also used in personal intercourse.