Size

The OED defines size as the “magnitude, bulk, bigness of anything.” Size may be qualified to denote, describe, or categorize material things—such as nanotechnology—as well as immaterial ones, such as big ideas. In addition, the word size relates to the spatial dimension of persons or of items such as books. Although size, like time, may appear to be simply objective and mensural, it is also an experiential phenomenon. Size is both a fact and an epistemology, a measurement and a category of difference used to evaluate persons and things. Although an object or person’s size can yield data “by eye” or via tools measuring different aspects (such as height, width, and volume), how the data are organized is a matter of perspective, and how size is experienced is a matter of embodiment and social culture (Vallone 2017). The experience of size is inextricably tied to scale: we understand the adjectives …

This essay may be found on page 171 of the printed volume.

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