Popular Science

The language you speak changes your perception of time

Time is relative
clock with blurred face

Are your days long or full?

Pexel

The shortest unit of time is that period between hitting the snooze button and hearing your alarm go off again. Wait, is that the shortest unit of time or the smallest unit of time?

Shortest versus smallest isn’t actually a question of grammatical punctiliousness. Different languages frame time differently. Swedish and English speakers, for example, tend to think of time in terms of distance—what a long day, we say. Time becomes an expanse one has to traverse. Spanish and Greek speakers, on the other hand, tend to think of time in terms of volume—what a full day, they exclaim. Time becomes a container to be filled. These linguistic

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science2 min read
Electric Face Cleaners To Get The Oil And Dead Skin Out Of Your Pores
Whether you’re looking for a gentle cleanse, deep exfoliation, or a face cleaner that can also clean your feet, one of these three options is for you.
Popular Science3 min read
The Artist Responsible For Those Gold-leafed Nobel Portraits Would Like To Paint Something Other Than Old White Men, Please
For two weeks every October since 2012, Niklas Elmehed’s paintings appear in thumbnails, tweets, and articles in outlets all over the world. Elmehed is the official portrait artist for the Nobel Prizes.
Popular Science1 min read
Four Stylish Leather Cases For The IPhone 11
It can cost a few hundred dollars to repair the newer iPhone screens, so unless you’re absolutely sure you’ll never drop your phone, it’s worth figuring out which case works best for you. Leather cases tend to be thinner, so they won’t make your phon