Sunday, September 7, 2008

theory of linguistic relativity

Sometimes I read back through my old posts. I noticed that I wrote "fewer than five minutes" in one of them. Typically, 'fewer' would precede a numeric quantity of something (e.g., fewer than five flowers), but time is abstract, and therefore I believe it's best to say 'less than five minutes.' For some reason, though, this has spun me into a philosophical monologue about the nature of time.

When I was young, time did indeed seem abstract: I was smaller, so it was bigger. Abstractions typically have a bigness about them. After I had kids, minutes turned into something more akin to cookies, consumed with the worried quickness of someone hungry for them. Always running out of cookies, we are.