Protologisms on Time by Mikhail Epstein

chronocide n (Gr khronos, time + Lat cidum, from caedere, to slay; cf. genocide, homicide) — “the murder of time,” the violent disruption of historical continuity.

Any revolution is a form of chronocide: it sacrifices the past and present to the future.

Communism and fascism are both chronocidal: one destroys traditions as it leaps to the chimerical future, another brings the society under the spell of the mythic past.

chronocracy n (Gr chronos, time + Gr kratia, power or rule) — social and political order based on timing; rule by the laws and force of temporality; a form of government imposing time constraints on all authorities and the necessity for periodic transfer of powers on all levels.

Under chronocracy, life is determined by the regular periodic change of political, economic, and cultural trends, methods, fashions, and personnel. Presidents, computers, car models, artistic styles, dress cuts, textbooks have to change periodically to maintain their status as “new.”

Who rules in America, demos or chronos? America is a chronocracy no less than a democracy, with strictly enforced changes on all levels, from political leaders to dress fashions and technology.

chronomania n (Gr chronos, time + Gr mania, obsession, madness) — obsession with time and speed; inclination to utilize every moment and to submit one’s life to a total time control.

America suffers from chronomania. Faster, faster, faster! Let’s pause to see where we stand and consider where exactly we have been rushing headlong.

Chronomania may jeopardize your mental health. Try to refocus your life beyond schedules and deadlines.

chronomaniac n — a person obsessed with time and speed who tries to live faster and micro-manage time. Synonym: timenik n (time + suffix –nik)

He checks his watch every minute, a real chronomaniac.

My colleagues are crazy timeniks. No one has a minute for a human conversation.

chronopathy n (Gr khronos, time + Gr patheia, suffering) — a temporality disorder, a lack of time sense; inability to manage time, to meet schedules and deadlines.

Chronopathy is the undiagnosed cause of many social disorders and career failures.

Chronopathy can be compared to blindness or dyslexia. An impairment of the time orientation ability, it should be treated as a psychological condition rather than a moral deficiency.


chronopath n — a person affected by chronopathy.

You are always late. Are you a chronopath?

chronopathic adj — related to chronopathy.

He misses one appointment after another not because of ill intentions or disrespect. He has been chronopathic since childhood.

chronosome n (Gr chronos, time + Gr soma, body; cf. chromosome) — a unit of historical heredity.

Chromosomes pass the genetic code to subsequent generations; chronosomes pass a mental code of a historical period through styles, traditions, and “cultural color.”

The chronosomes of the early 20th century avant-garde reached the generation of the 1960s and shaped its political views and artistic styles.

Young people in the 2000s have different chronosomes than we had in the 1990s.

The chronosomic analysis of Finnegans Wake lays bare multiple mythological sources and images of ancient chronicles in Joyce’s enigmatic prose.

uchronia n (Gr ou, not + Gr chronos, time; literally “no time”; cf. utopia, no place) — a condition of “no time,” an uneventful state of permanence.

As soon as utopia finds its way into reality, it turns into uchronia, a disruption of history itself.

The worlds of great visionaries are often uchronian. Perfection precludes change.


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