Full-time = permanent, not 40-hour

James Callan james.callan at COMCAST.NET
Wed Jul 12 23:49:12 UTC 2006

The creative department where I work usually hires new people first as contract employees, then offers them permanent positions after a few months if they're a good fit.

I was talking with some co-workers today, and the hiring process came up. I realized that we were all making a distinction between full-time employees and contractors -- using "full-time" to designate not someone who worked 40 hours a week, but someone who was an actual, permanent employee of the company.

In other words, full-time in this circumstance isn't the opposite of part-time, it's the opposite of freelance.

This sense of the word isn't in any dictionary I've checked. Has anyone else run across it?

(For the record: I'm in Seattle, grew up in Milwaukee.)

James Callan

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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