“Time talks. It speaks more plainly than words.” This is how Edward T. Hall starts the first chapter of The Silent Language. Since the publication of that book, chronemics —how time is perceived by individuals or by culture groups, how it is used, and how differing perceptions and usages can affect communication—has become one of the most researched of nonverbal communication codes. This entry explores two facets of chronemics: (1) the perception of time in different cultures and (2) how the nonverbal code of time can affect intercultural communication.

Perceptions of Time

Hall classified time into nine categories, each with its own rules and meanings: biological time, personal time, physical time, metaphysical time, micro time, sync time, sacred time, profane time, and meta time. Jet lag is ...

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