Posted by ESC on November 22, 2000
In Reply to: Phrase: by times posted by Richard A . Dominico on November 22, 2000
: I would love to know if the phrase "by times" is acceptable English usage. I have been using the phrase and someone called me on it. In trying to validate my use of this phrase I can find no source for it, not in Fowler, nor in any of the dictionaries I have tried. I do not have access to the OED. Is my use of the phrase simply inappropriate usage? Obviously, I know that "at times" is more common.
I haven't found it yet in my references. It sounds like a mountain phrase to me. Are you from the U.S.? I'd keep on using "by times" if I were you. It adds a little color to your speech.
It reminds me of a phrase a cousin of mine uses. She doesn't say "when class is in session" or during "class time." She says "in time books." "The boy was punished because he was talking 'in time books.'"