- Punctuality: Punctuality is the degree to which individuals arrive at appointments or meetings on time. In some cultures, punctuality is highly valued and is seen as a sign of respect and professionalism. In other cultures, being a few minutes late is considered acceptable or even expected.
- Waiting time: Waiting time refers to the amount of time someone spends waiting for something, such as a meeting to start or a service to be provided. The amount of time someone is willing to wait can convey social status or power. For example, in some cultures, it is considered a sign of status to keep others waiting, while in other cultures, being on time is seen as a sign of respect.
- Response time: Response time refers to how quickly someone responds to a message or request. In some contexts, a quick response is seen as a sign of attentiveness and respect, while in other contexts, taking time to respond may be seen as a sign of thoughtfulness or consideration.
- Talk time: Talk time refers to how long someone speaks during a conversation. In some cultures, it is considered polite to let others speak more, while in other cultures, speaking at length is a sign of confidence and expertise.
- Silence: Silence can also be a time signature of interest to chronemics. In some cultures, silence is considered a sign of respect or thoughtfulness, while in other cultures, silence may be seen as awkward or uncomfortable.
- Duration of eye contact: Eye contact can convey interest, attention, and respect, but the appropriate duration of eye contact can vary across cultures and situations.
- Duration of greetings: The length of a greeting, such as a handshake or hug, can convey social status, intimacy, and respect.
- Time to complete tasks: The time it takes to complete a task or meet a deadline can convey competency, efficiency, and professionalism.
- Time spent on small talk: The amount of time spent on small talk before getting to the main point of a conversation can convey interest, warmth, and rapport.
- Interruption time: The time it takes for someone to interrupt another person during a conversation can convey assertiveness, dominance, and confidence.
- Response time to invitations: How quickly someone responds to an invitation to a social event can convey their level of interest and respect for the host.
- Length of pauses during speech: The length of pauses between words or sentences can convey hesitation, thoughtfulness, and confidence.
- Time spent eating meals: The length of time spent eating a meal can convey social norms, such as the importance of shared meals and leisure time.
- Length of meetings: The length of a meeting can convey the importance, urgency, and respect for the topic or participants.
So what does all that mean to a fiction writer? Well, in the culture of the United States, punctuality has generally been viewed as an indication of respect for others' time and an essential component of professionalism.
In the United States, being on time for appointments, meetings, and other events is highly valued and is often considered a sign of reliability, responsibility, and competence. Lateness or tardiness, on the other hand, is generally viewed as disrespectful and can be perceived as a lack of consideration for others.
There countries who place less emphasis on punctuality than the US, Germany, or Switzerland. Mexico, and Spain along with Brazil have, by comparison, a much softer view of time and adherence.
With that all said, this is a valuable asset for a writer on many different levels. Showing someone late for a meeting in the US, can and should give an impression of being laxed. Perhaps not to the point of morally laxed, but professionally, yes. We can bolster this effect by having someone comment on the event. It is a good tool for 'show don't tell.'
Short intervals before interrupting someone shows a lack of concern for what others are thinking, as well as demonstrating a lack of patience.
Combining these is where we find gold, because as we are describing our character using 'show' terms like these from Chronemics, the Reader is feeling these events, through internal tension, and emersion. Combinations allow for deeper understanding and nuance with our character.
These and others are also wonderful for demonstrating contrasts between characters. You can show disharmony between them by putting time signatures at odds between them.
As always, have fun.