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Old 09-09-2007, 03:40 PM   #7
George
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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.
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