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(Slate)   So is it 'fall' or is it 'autumn?' And why is it the only season with two names?   (slate.com) divider line 29
    More: Interesting, Samuel Johnson, English speakers  
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12279 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Oct 2012 at 4:15 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-10-01 04:21:41 PM
4 votes:
I never met a stripper named "Fall".
2012-10-01 04:15:13 PM
3 votes:

FloydA: FTA: Fall is better on the merits than autumn, in every way: it is short

Autumn= 6 letters
Winter = 6 letters
Summer = 6 letters
Spring = 6 letters

I don't see how fall being "short" makes it preferable.

(I don't really care which word anyone prefers, but that struck me as a really silly argument. I can bear diversity in the names of the seasons, but I've been on Fark for too long to let a stupid argument pass without comment.)


Its an argument about elitism.

Its a vulgar Germanic term versus an educated Romantic word. There will always be this argument.
2012-10-01 12:22:45 PM
3 votes:
You may appropriately use "autumn" in the following circumstances:

1) You speak with a British accent.
2) You are writing a poem in which the change of season is being compared to the stages of life.
3) The sentence you are using contains one or more of the following words: "whom," "irregardless," "apropos," "whilst," or "saturnine."
4) You are attending some sort of equestrian event that involves floppy hats.
5) You are holding some sort of cup with an extended pinkie finger.

In almost every other instance, "fall" is the correct term.
2012-10-01 04:08:00 PM
2 votes:
FTA: Fall is better on the merits than autumn, in every way: it is short

Autumn= 6 letters
Winter = 6 letters
Summer = 6 letters
Spring = 6 letters

I don't see how fall being "short" makes it preferable.

(I don't really care which word anyone prefers, but that struck me as a really silly argument. I can bear diversity in the names of the seasons, but I've been on Fark for too long to let a stupid argument pass without comment.)
2012-10-01 01:22:20 PM
2 votes:
Autumnal sounds a lot better than fallish, or fally.
2012-10-01 12:22:21 PM
2 votes:
Either. Only people with nothing better to do care about this "issue."
2012-10-02 02:19:22 AM
1 votes:

Ravengirl: Spartacus Outlaw: Never liked it much.

That's cool, and I can understand not wanting to participate in a holiday you didn't grow up with. However, I can't undersatnd hating a holiday so much you harass little children for wanting to play dress-ups.


I can field this one. It's not that the oldies in quesion were harassing kids for playing dress-ups. It's that older Australians regard the United Kingdom as "the old country" and see American culture as having a severely negative impact on us. If the kids were just dressing up for Halloween even that would probably have been fine, it's the associated trick-or-treating which is seen as uncouth by many Australians.

I'm 37 and when I was a kid no one did this. These days, we probably get two or three knocks on the door at Halloween and even then we've usually forgotten to stock up on treats most years.
2012-10-01 11:11:09 PM
1 votes:
Newsflash there are 5 main English speaking nations (6 if you include India but I doubt that is worth debating at this point except to point out they actually have the highest english speaking population)

2 of them call it "fall" (USA and Canada, Canada less so)

3 of them call it Autumn
2012-10-01 07:59:26 PM
1 votes:
In Australia most of the trees do not loose their leaves, therefore there is no 'fall'. We call it autumn.
2012-10-01 06:08:02 PM
1 votes:
Yeah, and what sort of mist did Puff frolick in?
Exactly.
2012-10-01 05:41:30 PM
1 votes:
Der Herbst - Eine wunderschöne und farbenprächtige Jahreszeit im Jahr. Die Abende werden länger, der Sommer ist vollbracht, die Natur bereitet sich unermütlich auf ihre Erholung vor. Ein Hauch von Melancholie liegt in der Luft.
2012-10-01 05:11:11 PM
1 votes:

Nightsweat: The whole "pants" thing meaning underwear in Britain is an example of how dumb they are about what was once their language.

"Pants" comes from "underpants". As in under PANTS. or if you prefer UNDER PANTS. They're warn under your pants.

Don't even get me started on rubbers.


"Pants" in the American sense comes from the French, "pantaloons", which were the type of loose trousers worn by the Turks (parachute pants are merely an exagerated sub-type). Underpants is clearly related but not the source. American English was briefly under the spell of French thanks to the French assistance (which was decisive at several points in time, including the Surrender of Cornwallis) during the Revolution.

Early politics was split between francophiles and francophobes, or conversely, anglophiles and anglophobes. Of course, we now know that they are the same thing, namely a francophobe is a francophile who has met a Frenchman, and an anglophobe is an anglophile who has met the English.

The old British word "trousers" is derived from "trewes", which were more like the American cowboy's "chaps" in that they were not originally joined up, but were leggings of coarse cloath or leather to protect the horseman's legs from brush and other threats.

Like "scissors", trousers are plural because there used to be two of them. ("Scissors" are still called "ciseaux" in French, which also means chisels. Two chisels, bound together at the fulcrum, become scissors.)

British usage often sneaks into commercialese in North America because of snob appeal. Thus habidashery often has an antique and posh air about it, with a sort of stilted language of its own. You are more likely to hear "trousers" in a posh tailor's shop or boutique than J.C. Penney.

Other examples of historically determined differences between the British and Americans include the pronunciation of certain words, such as "Duke".

The British pronounce it with a nearly French vowel, while the Americans use the briefly popular Regency pronunciation which the Beaux of the time of Prince George, later King George IV, used. DOOK is also the pronunciation in the North of England. It's our Yorkshire forbears again. If you want to do a Yorkshire accent, ham it up a bit. Some Americans and Canadians have a good head start on the English when regional accents are in play.

Others shouldn't even try to fake a British accent, howsoever humble or out-of-the-way. Language is in constant flux and you've moved on too far to look back.

Conversely, the British are totally clueless when they do American accents because they don't realize there is more than one despite having about 66 regional dialects of their own, and several layers of each.
2012-10-01 05:04:00 PM
1 votes:
half of fall all of winter and half of spring if SEASON in florida
2012-10-01 04:56:25 PM
1 votes:
Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall are all Anglo-Saxon or Germanic in Origin.
Autumn came to us via the French and Latin. English almost always has at least two words for everything, not to mention two pronunciations and spellings. Think of all the word pairs you can such as gal (or gel) and girl, gormless and gummy, etc.--the language is full of words that came from two different sources. From Norman and Parisian French we get duplicates such as "guardian" and "warden", "warantee" and "guarantee", etc. (the hard sound is Norman, the soft is French).

English vocabulary is replete with words of latinate or anglo-saxon-germanic origin (including replete), although it has four times as many words of French-Norman origin than anglo-saxon. The Anglo Saxon words tend to be very basic vocabulary that changes little over time. French and latinized vocabulary never displaced words like "moon", "day", "house", "cow", etc.

Winter is not very clearly related to hiver (French), but hivernis (Latin) does look a little closer because Latin is closer to Indo-European, the common ancestor of German and Latin and almost all European languages except Basque and maybe Roma.

Summer is clearly not derived from été (French) nor is it clearly derived from Latin. It is Germanic.

But why are three of these words Anglo-Saxon and only one Franco-Latinate? Who knows? The main reason is that the rear guard action against the new masters was able to hold out three quarters of the way on seasons, a fairly decent defence or defense.

Our days of the week are also mixed but Anglo-Saxon put up a better fight: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are all Anglo-Saxon-Germanic. Saturday alone is named after a classical god, Saturn. But in French, lundi, mardi, mercredi, jeudi, vendredi, and samdi and dimanche (dominicus, the Lord's Day) are all latinate. The origin tongues of France, like much of the population, were all but wiped out by the Romans.

Back in England, Fall went out of fashion because of the Franco-Norman upper classes, who said "automne" or "Autumn" and then because of middle class snobbery which used rules about which words you could use to attack their "betters" and their "inferiors" as they rose to power. Summer survived virtually unchanged, winter and spring were in between. Fall may have lost some ground due to harvest, in fact. You could pretty avoid talking about the season at all.

The ancestors of many Americans and Canadians came from places like Yorkshire which were conservative and economically backward even in the 1600s and 1700s, and thus produced a large number of economic refugees or "settlers", "planters" and "colonials" as they are called when they are not "immigrants" or "illegals", which is to say, johnney-come-latelies with browner skin.

Fall is still used in England but mostly in the North or less formal speech. The more Frenchified and Normanized South uses Autumn. This is subject to change without notice, and of course, there's always somebody trying to put on airs or else conceal their posh backgrounds in a form of reverse snobbery.

Many of the things that the British deplore about American English are not peculiar to American English but are mere slightly old-fashioned or regional. Given the number of Yorkshire ancestors I have found while investigating my deep and widespread colonial American roots, I would say that us North Americans come by our linguistic quirks and customs honestly enough. From the look of things, both sides of the Atlantic Mutual Misunderstanding Society are roughly evenly matched, with both sides more inventive in slang and novelty than they would care to admit in polite society.

The conservative classes like to think that they are conservative in language as well as traditions and politics, but there's little evidence to back them up. Their traditions are often surprisingly recent innovations, their language thoroughly riddled with modern slang and phase shifts of various kinds, and their politics not very conservative of anything except the interests of the few who play politics to win.
2012-10-01 04:56:06 PM
1 votes:
A few responses above that autumnal (x) > fall (x). Where I grew up, people just say winter (x), and summer (x), but for spring it's almost always vernal (x) and for fall autumnal (x).

But then we also say soft drink... soda = club soda, and pop, depending on context is either an ice pop or lollipop.

/first time I visited TX I ordered a Coke, and the waitress asked what kind I wanted: Coke, orange Coke, or Dr. Pepper.
2012-10-01 04:29:49 PM
1 votes:

highendmighty: HighZoolander: /why measure length with letters?

Isn't there a tattooed penis joke out there somewhere.


WENDY
2012-10-01 04:29:44 PM
1 votes:
"Spring ahead, Autumn back" doesn't make any sense. Just saying.
2012-10-01 04:24:37 PM
1 votes:

cman: Its a vulgar Germanic term versus an educated Romantic word. There will always be this argument.


Until the nuclear apocalypse. Then they will be arguing about whether "Periplaneta Americana" or "Cockroach" is the appropriate term for our radioactive overlords.
2012-10-01 04:23:06 PM
1 votes:
Fall. Think about it...how many times have you seen leaves autumn off of the trees? Never! So there you are. It is fall. Autumn is some hippy kid's name.
2012-10-01 04:21:39 PM
1 votes:

FloydA: FTA: Fall is better on the merits than autumn, in every way: it is short

Autumn= 6 letters
Winter = 6 letters
Summer = 6 letters
Spring = 6 letters

I don't see how fall being "short" makes it preferable.

(I don't really care which word anyone prefers, but that struck me as a really silly argument. I can bear diversity in the names of the seasons, but I've been on Fark for too long to let a stupid argument pass without comment.)


Autumn= 2 syllables
Winter = 2 syllables
Summer = 2 syllables
Spring = 1 syllable

Fall = 1 syllable

/why measure length with letters?
2012-10-01 04:21:21 PM
1 votes:
www.buddytv.com 
"Why is it the only season with two names? And what's the deal with airline food?"
2012-10-01 04:21:05 PM
1 votes:
I don't care what you call it, but it's still farking hot.

2012 is going to be the year of the endless summer, at this rate.
2012-10-01 04:18:24 PM
1 votes:

Tell Me How My Blog Tastes: GreenAdder: It's pop.

It's coke. Coke when it's cold, coke when it's kinda cold, coke when it's hot, or "Phi-slamma-jamma-time" as we call it in DC, and coke when it's kinda hot. COKE


The only thing that we call "Coke" in DC is Coke...oh and coke (sniffle). But the correct term for the carbonated beverage is "soda".
2012-10-01 02:16:42 PM
1 votes:

God Is My Co-Pirate: Every two years is biennial.


Yeah, I wasn't going to repost to correct that. I have full faith and confidence that someone else would. Bi-annual is nothing. The correct word is biennial.

My wife and I were discussing this the other day. Autumn is a sub-season of Fall. She thinks it's the beginning,late August til the leaves fall, I think it's more the time when it's starting to get darker and colder after the leaves have gone, later October to beginning of Winter.
2012-10-01 01:49:53 PM
1 votes:

Mangoose: cretinbob: ArcadianRefugee: Are they pants or trousers? Is it bi-annual or semi-annual?

bi-annual is every two years. Semi-annual is every 6 months

You mean twice a year for biannual, no?


Yes. Every two years is biennial.
2012-10-01 01:47:40 PM
1 votes:
It's a bit of a mystery why the superfluous autumn persists


I blame Nat King Cole.
2012-10-01 01:31:42 PM
1 votes:
It's pop.
2012-10-01 12:37:01 PM
1 votes:
Are they pants or trousers? Is it bi-annual or semi-annual?
2012-10-01 12:20:11 PM
1 votes:
Why cant we just go back to using the Germanic "Harvest" for its name?
 
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