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

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