Quick question/poll: How do you interpret the phrase “within the hour”?
As far as I’m concerned, the phrase “within the hour” is meant to be taken literally. If something is happening “within the hour” it will (or should) happen before the hour changes. For example if at 4:15 I say I’ll be leaving “within the hour” it means I’ll be leaving by 5:00. It would mean the same thing if I said it at 4:30, 4:45, or 4:anything.
Now, a co-worker of mine uses this phrase to mean basically within an hour. If at 4:30 he said he’s leaving “within the hour”, he’d mean that he’d be leaving by 5:30.
I’m wondering if this is kind of like “could/couldn’t care less”. Has this phrase changed to where it means something else? Is it common for someone to say “within the hour”, and mean within 60 minutes? How does everyone else here use or interpret this phrase?