Words: in-time, n.

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
ONE OF the staff in Brighton reference library was crouched by a shelf and I asked her where I could find that week's issue of The Grocer. She could not help, she explained, as she was on in-time. I did not say as much but had hoped that, even in this era of management-speak, librarians would conserve some interest in the use of words.

In any case, surely she was not in but out now, among the public. No, she continued, out was to be fielding queries at the desk, from which in-time is a respite. One can understand this need, for, at the desk, the librarian was wearily dealing with somebody on the telephone who sought telephone directories printed several decades before the device was invented.