DTP


 
Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web


Go Back   Desktop Publishing Forum > General Discussions > On Language & Literature

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-09-2007, 10:44 AM   #1
dogmandouglas
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 96
Default Why is autumn called "fall"?

In Britain we have four seasons:– spring, summer, autumn and winter. I would assume that when the first English settlers went to America they would have kept those names for the seasons.

Yet Americans use the word "fall" instead of autumn. I can understand the term meaning "leaves falling" but why was word autumn dropped in the first place?

What prompted the usage of "fall" over "Autumn"?
dogmandouglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 11:42 AM   #2
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmandouglas View Post
Yet Americans use the word "fall" instead of autumn. I can understand the term meaning "leaves falling" but why was word autumn dropped in the first place?

What prompted the usage of "fall" over "Autumn"?
Autumn has never been dropped — we use both terms. I am pretty sure autumn is more common. Certainly marketeers like expressions like “fall sale” but that’s probably because they prefer short-and-snappy ad phrases.

Autumn is about the last definition for fall in our dictionaries (of about 30). And under autumn, fall isn’t even listed.

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 11:50 AM   #3
dogmandouglas
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 96
Default

I knew that you still used autumn but in all the American movies I've seen all the actors said fall instead of autumn so I assumed that it was the more popular form.
dogmandouglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 12:07 PM   #4
annc
Sysop
 
annc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Subtropical Queensland, Australia, between the mountains and the Coral Sea
Posts: 4,434
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmandouglas View Post
I knew that you still used autumn but in all the American movies I've seen all the actors said fall instead of autumn so I assumed that it was the more popular form.
Same for American books. I rarely see autumn mentioned – it's always fall.

   
__________________
annc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 12:44 PM   #5
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmandouglas View Post
I knew that you still used autumn but in all the American movies I've seen all the actors said fall instead of autumn so I assumed that it was the more popular form.
I will have to think about this. The season will begin shortly — I’ll try to note what it gets called in the newspaper, on TV, among friends. Sort of an odd assignment, but in the interests of scholarship.

In the meantime, why don’t you start using “fall” deliberately and see if everyone says “Huh?” Maybe it is actually used even in England.

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 02:33 PM   #6
Michael Rowley
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ipswich (the one in England)
Posts: 5,105
Default

KT:

Quote:
Maybe it is actually used even in England
It probably was used, but has been forgotten. 'Autumn' is from the Latin, and possibly wasn't the most common name in England for the season. It came into English from the French only in the time of Middle English, so there must have been earlier, probably Germanic, terms for the season; 'fall' would have been a good one.

   
__________________
Michael
Michael Rowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 03:40 PM   #7
George
Member
 
George's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,036
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmandouglas View Post
In Britain we have four seasons:– spring, summer, autumn and winter. I would assume that when the first English settlers went to America they would have kept those names for the seasons.

Yet Americans use the word "fall" instead of autumn. I can understand the term meaning "leaves falling" but why was word autumn dropped in the first place?

What prompted the usage of "fall" over "Autumn"?
The hole yere is devided into iiii parts. Spring tyme, somer, faule of the leaf and winter. (Ascham, Toxophilus)

Americans decided early and deliberately that they wanted to be a common people. They prefer simple talk and don't like even the possibility of perception of someone trying to impress others with sophistication of speech – that’s a big no no.


The sources I checked noted “autumn” as of Latin origin, coming to English through the French, while “fall” came from German. In the 16th century both words were used, but the English later dropped "fall,” while Americans retained it.

I don't think "autumn" works well in most movie dialogue, but it is not uncommon here, although it seems many parts of the country don't have a notable distinction of seasons. I think where the division of seasons is experienced most clearly, there is more of a use of "autumn," but that is a guess. However, in the east, where the colonies were, the seasons are distinct.

George
Dang, this forum has become difficult to post in under the new host.
George is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2007, 05:25 PM   #8
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by George View Post
Dang, this forum has become difficult to post in under the new host.
How so? We need to know if we are to fix it.

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 03:20 AM   #9
George
Member
 
George's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,036
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
How so? We need to know if we are to fix it.
Actually, it's more than posting. Like once I clicked view new posts, and I got two threads new and the rest four weeks old. It seems something is happening like that always peculiar, but most of all it seems to lock up my browser. You pointed that out to me, that there was a general FF browser problem, but it seems only but always to occur in this forum. In making a post, it really slows down substantially. And the reply window went back small. Hmm--I think I'll go to Opera for this forum for awhile and see how that goes.

George
George is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 04:04 AM   #10
dthomsen8
Member
 
dthomsen8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA 19130
Posts: 2,158
Default No Division of Seasons

Quote:
Originally Posted by George View Post
...

I don't think "autumn" works well in most movie dialogue, but it is not uncommon here, although it seems many parts of the country don't have a notable distinction of seasons. I think where the division of seasons is experienced most clearly, there is more of a use of "autumn," but that is a guess. However, in the east, where the colonies were, the seasons are distinct.
...
My wife's relatives are coming here to Philadelphia this fall from a place (Kuala Lumpur) without distinct seasons, and certainly without any falling leaves season. The lack of difference in seasons does mean that there are flowers and fruit which don't grow in a tropical country. Apples and tulips depend on having the change of seasons to bloom.
dthomsen8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"A non-running computer produces fewer errors" iamback The Corner Pub 1 02-27-2006 10:39 AM
Suppress Word's "File Download" dialog? Lab309 Web Site Building & Maintenance 1 01-13-2006 10:09 AM
Verbs: "obscure" vs "secure" groucho On Language & Literature 16 11-14-2005 03:43 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Contents copyright 2004–2014 Desktop Publishing Forum and its members.