Most of my work is done online these days, and I'm always surprised at how many people expect me to be available 24/7, answering emails as soon as they arrive, night or day.
It wasn't too long ago that people tended to work a fixed timetable - once the work was done they headed home and that was it for the day, but the rise of the Internet, online shopping and banking and other 'always on' services has given us the idea that everything should be available all of the time. And that's where the expression 24/7 comes in.
When something's 24/7 you can pretty much guarantee that it's always available, or that a service is offered all day, without interruptions, around the clock. The Oxford English Dictionary first included 24/7 way back in 1983, but it's only in recent years that it's become so widespread, covering shops, websites and even people.
These days you might even find 24/7/365, meaning that a service is available every day of the year - which more or less describes my work routine!
Transcript (pdf - 30 K)
Lesson plan - Teacher's notes, student worksheets with answers (pdf - 71 K)
Audio - Gavin Dudeney on "24/7" (mp3 - 438 K)
|^^ Top of page|