The Ancient Greeks had two words for time:
- Chronos = sequential, quantitative time
- Kairos = fluctuating, qualitative time
Chronos refers to time as we usually mean it: a sequence of equal parts.
There are twenty four hours in a day, and each hour is the same length of time.
It’s what a clock measures, basically.
Kairos refers to the way in which certain moments are more important or influential than others. A clock can’t measure that.
Kairos (pronounced “KAI-ros”) in Ancient Greek meant “time” – but it wasn’t just any time. It was exactly the right time to say or do a particular thing. In modern rhetoric, it refers to making exactly the right statement at exactly the right moment.
Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was successful due to its kairos
Wilson’s inauguration speech was highly kairotic.