Is It Autumn? Or Is It Fall?

October 8, 2018

© Dean Pennala | Dreamstime

Summer is gone and fall is here, or is it autumn?  Why out of our four seasons there are two names to describe the one between summer and winter and which one is correct? According to Merriam-Webster, autumn first appeared in English in the 1300s, derived from the Latin word autumnus and quickly gained favor because it replaced the original name for the season, which was simply harvest. All was well until the 16th century when fall came into favor, which is shortened version of the very poetic phrase for fall, "the fall of leaves."  The English phrase captured the essence of the season without leading to confusion, like harvest potentially did. Not even a century later, the phrase has become a simple word: fall. Around this time, England was out conquering the world and taking their language with them including the current United States. Those in the colonies and those back in England didn't converse all that regularly, and so English began to shift in the colonies. Add in a desire to become independent and free of England, there was even more reason to have a sense of our own language. As those in England prefer to call it "autumn," those in American chose "fall" to symbolize the season and for the most part, it holds true today! As for which term for the season you should use, the long and the short of it is that using either fall or autumn is acceptable. It's ultimately up to you to decide which one best captures the spirit of this particular season.

SOURCE: Mother Nature Network

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