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Re: 24/7

Posted by Masakim on January 24, 2003

In Reply to: Re: 24/7 posted by ESC on January 24, 2003

: : Does anyone know when this phrase came into common use? Could it have been around in the 1980s, or is this a 90s thing?

: 24/7 - One source lists 24/7 under "rap" words. ("Speaking Freely: A Guided Tour of American English from Plymouth Rock to Silicon Valley" by Stuart Berg Flexner and Anne H. Soukhanov, Oxford University Press, New York, 1997).

: A second places "twenty-four/seven" in the Hip-Hop & Rap chapter and says: "To be attentive 24 hours a day, seven days a week." ("Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang" by Tom Dalzell , Merriam-Webster Inc., Springfield, Md., 1996) There's no date for the expression. But it does say that hip-hop was created "as an alternative to the culture of gang violence in the mid-1970s in the Bronx and Harlem...By the mid-1980s, rap music as an expression of hip-hop culture had become the Next Wave of wider popular culture..."

: I am wondering if 24/7 is a riff on the 7-11 convenience stores.

Jerry Reynolds, one of the SEC's two best freshmen by the end of last season, calls his jump shot "24-7-365", because "It's good 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year".
(_Sports Illustrated_, November 28, 1983)

24-7--24 hours a day, seven days a week (as in, I love you 24-7).
(1985 _People_, March 18, 1985)

Is caring for Cassandra a full-time job? "That it is," she said. "Twenty-four-seven."
(_Providence Journal-Bulletin_, 1996)

Numbers seem to be replacing words 24/7 these days.
In fact, 24/7 originated in street slang more than a decade ago to represent ''24 hours a day, 7 days a week.'' More recently, Chevrolet ads have tried to popularize a longer form, even though it misses a day every leap year: 24/7/365, written with virgules. The country singer Neal McCoy used hyphens last year to title his CD ''24-7-365.'' Will those hyphens be replacing the virgules soon? No, says a survey of publishing professionals in the McMurry newsletter Copy Editor, which finds that 89 percent of readers prefer 24/7 to 24-7.
(Jeffrey McQuain, "On Language," _New York Times Magazine_, September 16, 2001)