Word of the Day: Horometry


(n.); the art, practice, or method of measuring time by hours and subordinate divisions; the art or science of measuring time; from the Greek hora (“time” or “season”) + metron (“measure”)

With them who stood upon the brink of the great gulf which none can see beyond, Time, so soon to lose itself in vast Eternity, rolled on like a mighty river, swollen and rapid as it nears the sea.

—Charles Dickens, Barnaby Ridge

What would happen if, out of nowhere, all of the clocks stopped? What would we do if, all of a sudden, there was nothing to tell us what time we had to wake up, when to brush our teeth or eat breakfast, or when we’re allowed to relax after a long day at work? What if there was no clear, concise division of our days into regimented hours, minutes, milliseconds—those arbitrary categories into which we divvy up our daily activities? Much like Dickens’s mighty swollen river, time would still roll on; and indeed, it has, in its own lurching, unrelenting manner, regardless of how we attempt to stuff it into orderly hours. Over the past month, Nautilus Magazine has been taking us on a journey through humanity’s own past, from a fascinating examination of the mythology surrounding the Big Bang to this week’s piece on the oldest graveyard in the world.

Sara Menuck is currently pursuing BA in English & Professional Writing at York University, Toronto, without being very professional at all. Having interned with a variety of small press publications, she currently works as a prose reader for The Winter Tangerine Review, a department editorial assistant, and, in her free time, a teacher of music to very small, adorable children. More from this author →