Fall is no friend of Autumn

by | Nov 3, 2017 | Daily conversations, Understanding the dictionary | 2 comments

Why are there two names for autumn? Is it autumn or is it fall? I like to say AUTUMN because it sounds like someone’s smothering me. Fall just seems to describe what autumn is: the season when stuff falls, leaves, fruits, rain, heads etc.

Apparently, according to my Webster, FALL is what Americans call AUTUMN. I actually thought everyone calls autumn FALL, except for poets. So who calls FALL autumn?

I love this FALL/AUTUMN explanation from King’s English:

FALL is better on the merits than AUTUMN, in every way:

– it is short

(Therefore, easier to spell without mistakes, is that what you mean, King’s English?)

– Saxon, like all the other three seasons

(Poor AUTUMN falls all alone, being Latin in origin.)

– picturesque

(I personally fail to see how it is picturesque.)

– it reveals its derivation to everyone who uses it, not to the scholar only, like autumn

(In short, any of us idiots can understand what “fall” means, but you have to be learned to understand “autumn”. The same goes for spring, I suppose. Anyone can understand SPRING. Not just anyone can understand SUMMER.)

– and we, the English, once had as good a right to it as the Americans, but we have chosen to let the right lapse, and to use the word now is no better than larceny

(So if you’re English and don’t want to be called a larcenist, you’d better call fall AUTUMN. Now hold on, stealing other people’s words is larceny? That’s a question for Noah Webster!)

Happy fall, Americans! Happy autumn, the English and everyone else who care about autumn and don’t mind fall!

See you,