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View Poll Results: What do you call the season between Summer and Winter?
Autumn 47 24.35%
Fall 88 45.60%
Either 56 29.02%
Neither--I call it _____________ 2 1.04%
Voters: 193. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2010, 01:38 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Do you call it "Autumn" or "Fall" (and what's it called in non-English languages?)

What do you call the season that's coming up--Autumn or Fall? Why does it have two names anyway? Can't it just be autumn, so the names of all the seasons have six letter?

And do non-English speaking countries have this dilemma?

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 08-11-2010 at 01:40 PM..
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:14 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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I voted "either".
It depends on how I am using the word - in school terms, it is generally called "Fall Term", but I know back home in Illinois, people would say they are going to the parks to see the trees turning color in "Autumn".
In Vegas we only have hot, and less hot.
The Four Seasons is only a hotel near Mandalay Bay.

Last edited by DMark; 08-11-2010 at 02:16 PM..
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:20 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Either. But I use fall in writing more often because it's easier to spell.
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:21 PM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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I said either, but it's more like 1/3 Autumn and 2/3 Fall. Syllable count I guess.
Autumn is more poetic. Fall is more common language. Other than that, interchangeable for me.
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:34 PM
GHO57 GHO57 is offline
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Fall, it's shorter... and the "mn" gives me the creeps.

We call it Syksy (no other words for it) in Finnish... in which no word can end with a double consonant, hence my problem with the mn.
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:40 PM
Angua Angua is offline
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Depends who I'm talking to. If its an American friend/colleague/giving a public talk, "fall", anybody else gets "autumn".
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2010, 03:09 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Fall, for the most part.
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2010, 04:00 PM
Al Bundy Al Bundy is offline
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Fall or...

I call it fall or as we say here, "the beginning of hell." If I were writing a high brow novel, I'd use Autumn. It has not happened yet though.
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2010, 04:22 PM
Giles Giles is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHO57 View Post
Fall, it's shorter... and the "mn" gives me the creeps.

We call it Syksy (no other words for it) in Finnish... in which no word can end with a double consonant, hence my problem with the mn.
However, the "n" is silent in "autumn", just as it is in "hymn".
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:31 PM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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I only use Autumn, but have nothing against Fall any more than I do against Herbst.

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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
Fall, for the most part.
Good username/thread combo.
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:34 PM
shantih shantih is offline
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I say fall. I think of autumn as more British English or poetic usage.

The German for the season between summer and winter is 'Herbst.'
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  #12  
Old 08-11-2010, 08:30 PM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
And do non-English speaking countries have this dilemma?
Well, in Bulgarian, they don't have this issue with this particular word (fall is "essen"), but sure, there are multiple words for the same things. In most cases, there will be a standard Bulgarian word, and then a synonymous Turkish word. Which one you use depends on a number of factors. For instance, the word I would use for "eggplant" (which is, an aside, something else where there's an America/British divide) is "patladzhan", which is actually a Turkish word. In other parts of Bulgaria, they're called "sin domat". Which literally means "blue tomato". wtf no, that's just crazy. But it is actual Bulgarian.
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  #13  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:27 PM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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I say Fall, but Autumn is perfectly cromulent.

In Japanese, it's typically 秋 (aki)
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:43 PM
GHO57 GHO57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by GHO57 View Post
Fall, it's shorter... and the "mn" gives me the creeps.

We call it Syksy (no other words for it) in Finnish... in which no word can end with a double consonant, hence my problem with the mn.
However, the "n" is silent in "autumn", just as it is in "hymn".
Yes, but I know it's there. Sharks are silent... so is radiation poisoning... as is the thing under your bed.

Silent = bad.
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  #15  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:58 PM
JpnDude JpnDude is offline
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I use "fall" usually but "autumn" for certain phrases.

In Spanish, it's "otoo."
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  #16  
Old 08-11-2010, 11:54 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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I usually say Autumn, but have used Fall from time to time.

In Japanese it is usually Aki (Hiragana: あき), but can also be Shuu (Hiragana: しゅう) depending on usage. The kanji for both Aki and Shuu is 秋.

Increasingly, younger Japanese use オータム, pronounced Ohtamu, literally Autumn.
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  #17  
Old 08-11-2010, 11:59 PM
Trepa Mayfield Trepa Mayfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Can't it just be autumn, so the names of all the seasons have six letters?


Mind. Blown.
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  #18  
Old 08-12-2010, 12:15 AM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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In French it's l'automne.
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  #19  
Old 08-12-2010, 12:24 AM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is offline
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I use both, although "fall" is probably my usual choice.

As I now live in Jakarta and work with lots of Australians, but still maintain an American mentality about spring-summer-fall-winter, seasonal references are a problem for me.

I do a lot of writing for work where I would like to make suitably vague references about time frame. For example we may know that something will happen around September, but I don't want to be too specific because delays are possible. So, without thinking I will write, "The workshop is expected to be held this fall."

Of course, I always have to rewrite such sentences.

There isn't a commonly used term for "fall" in Indonesian, for obvious reasons - people think in terms of "musim hujan" (wet season), "musim panen" (harvest season) and the like. However, there are obviously cases when the English concept of "fall" must be translated - in that case, it is written as "musim gugur." While "gugur" has several closely related meanings, the first one people think of is "miscarriage." If you are from a place where the trees stay green year-round, that is probably as good an image as any for leaves turning brown and dropping off the branches.

Last edited by CairoCarol; 08-12-2010 at 12:24 AM..
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  #20  
Old 08-12-2010, 12:28 AM
Molotok Molotok is online now
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In Russian: осень (OH-seen).
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  #21  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:01 AM
Hypnagogic Jerk Hypnagogic Jerk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator View Post
In French it's l'automne.
Just a hijack, and I don't mean to single you out, but why, when anglophones mention French nouns, do they always put an article there as well? I know French uses articles more frequently than English, but it always brings to my mind "France" as seen in Warner Bros. cartoons where you can find signs like "Le Zoo" or somesuch.
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  #22  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:04 AM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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In English, I usually say "fall".

In Hebrew, it's "stav". I'm not sure about the etymology.
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:15 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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In English, I usually say "fall".

In Spanish it's otoo; in Catalan, tardor (something like "the late time"). It's an inusual pair in that often when Spanish and Catalan words have clearly-different origins, the Catalan word is straight from Latin and the Spanish word is from elsewhere.
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  #24  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:15 AM
GameHat GameHat is online now
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Midwestern Doper:

Autumn and Fall are interchangable in my local dialect

Autumn is probably a bit more formal - if you're getting married in October, you're getting married this autumn.

If you're considering the upcoming college football season, it's the fall season

But both work in either case.
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  #25  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:16 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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I use autumn when I want to sound proper, and fall otherwise.

ETA: You guys have really got to stop doing that. It's getting freaky.

Last edited by BigT; 08-12-2010 at 01:17 AM..
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  #26  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:19 AM
GHO57 GHO57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
I use autumn when I want to sound proper, and fall otherwise.

ETA: You guys have really got to stop doing that. It's getting freaky.
I read that as "when I want to sound doper"
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  #27  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:53 AM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerwang View Post
In Russian: осень (OH-seen).
Admittedly, my Russian isn't great, but wouldn't it be OH-sen or OH-syen? Where is the "ee" sound coming from in the second syllable?
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  #28  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:55 AM
FuzzyOgre FuzzyOgre is offline
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Autumn is the event, fall is the season. At least to me.

Autumn is the changing of the leaves, The crunch of them under foot. Autumn is the ripening of the wheat, the smell in the air, and the feeling it all engenders.

Fall is when it happens.

Can you guess my favourite season?
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  #29  
Old 08-12-2010, 03:05 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
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Autumn, always, but then I'm British so 'fall' isn't part of my dialect. We only see it on US TV or in advertising for US holidays: 'New England in the Fall', kinda thing).

I'd always assumed all Americans called it 'fall'. Hmm, ignorance fought!

Additional question: do you ever use the term 'autumnal'? We use it a lot to describe the weather, or a scene, e.g. "it's feeling a little autumnal today".

Last edited by SanVito; 08-12-2010 at 03:07 AM..
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  #30  
Old 08-12-2010, 03:15 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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As SanVito above. UK resident here and we pretty much never use "Fall" in normal conversation.

Incidentally, "autumnal" is a lovely word and can be used to describe a day succinctly and poetically.

"winterish" "springish" "Summery" "fallish" and variations thereof don't cut the mustard do they?
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  #31  
Old 08-12-2010, 03:59 AM
Gustav Gustav is offline
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Autumn is such an ugly word...
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  #32  
Old 08-12-2010, 04:01 AM
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In English I use either, but probably "fall" more often.

In Norwegian, the word for that season is hst, which also means harvest. Very sensible, I think.
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  #33  
Old 08-12-2010, 05:05 AM
Manwich Manwich is offline
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As an Australian I say Autumn. I thought teaching US English in Japan I would have to say "Fall" but they seem to use Autumn when teaching English here for some reason.

In Thai, Autumn is (Rue Du) Bai Mai Ruang (sorry for the shitty transliteration). Literally "(season) leaf tree fall".

But Thailand doesn't actually have Autumn because seasons are different there - hot, rainy and cool seasons only.
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  #34  
Old 08-12-2010, 05:33 AM
multimediac17 multimediac17 is offline
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I'm Australian too and I don't ever hear "fall", we always say "autumn". In my experience you'd get funny looks if you suddenly referred to the season as "fall" (unless of course you were American), it's considered an Americanism like "sidewalk" or "vacation".
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  #35  
Old 08-12-2010, 06:05 AM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post

And do non-English speaking countries have this dilemma?
I'd say even most English-speaking countries don't have this problem - fall is an American word.

(Aussie dittoing the previous two posts)
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  #36  
Old 08-12-2010, 06:30 AM
JoseArcadio JoseArcadio is offline
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As with the Aussies, here in the Britain we use autumn exclusively.
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  #37  
Old 08-12-2010, 08:10 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedescribe View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Can't it just be autumn, so the names of all the seasons have six letters?


Mind. Blown.
What? I sometims wonder why "Spring" is only one syllable, when the other three seasons (Summer, Autoumn and Winter) are two--Annie-Xmas, wordsmith.
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  #38  
Old 08-12-2010, 08:53 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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In English I use autumn, in Swedish (as in Norwegian) it's hst, but unlike in Norwegian it has lost the meaning of harvest except in some very special contexts.
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  #39  
Old 08-12-2010, 05:27 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnagogic Jerk View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator View Post
In French it's l'automne.
Just a hijack, and I don't mean to single you out, but why, when anglophones mention French nouns, do they always put an article there as well?
Because that's how we're taught French. In English, a noun's gender isn't gramatically relevant, but in French it's a vital piece of information. So every noun is learnt with its article so that we can learn its gender at the same time. Of course, in this case, the article doesn't help reveal the gender, but it's still a reflex action to give article + noun.
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  #40  
Old 08-12-2010, 06:09 PM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazzle View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post

And do non-English speaking countries have this dilemma?
I'd say even most English-speaking countries don't have this problem - fall is an American word.
It's an American word now, but it's my understanding that "fall" is the original English word, and was retained in America after there was a shift to using "autumn" in Britain. Looking a cite, Wikipedia agrees with me, but there's no cite for it. Hmm. I can't remember where I heard that originally.
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  #41  
Old 08-12-2010, 07:15 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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It would not be uncommon for me to use Autumn or Fall, but I probably say Autumn more often than not. This is because I have a friend who will make a stupid joke about falling or some other stupidity and that got old many many years ago.
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  #42  
Old 08-12-2010, 08:57 PM
Hypnagogic Jerk Hypnagogic Jerk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnagogic Jerk View Post
Just a hijack, and I don't mean to single you out, but why, when anglophones mention French nouns, do they always put an article there as well?
Because that's how we're taught French. In English, a noun's gender isn't gramatically relevant, but in French it's a vital piece of information. So every noun is learnt with its article so that we can learn its gender at the same time. Of course, in this case, the article doesn't help reveal the gender, but it's still a reflex action to give article + noun.
That makes sense. Thanks!
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  #43  
Old 08-12-2010, 10:45 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyla View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerwang View Post
In Russian: осень (OH-seen).
Admittedly, my Russian isn't great, but wouldn't it be OH-sen or OH-syen? Where is the "ee" sound coming from in the second syllable?
Here's a link to the actual pronunciation. "OH-seen" is not a bad approximation of it, although something like "OH-s(y)in(y)" (where "(y)" indicates palatalization) would be more accurate. Russian orthography is not completely phonetic. An "e" in an unstressed position becomes a short-i type of sound. You can read about Russian vowel reduction here.

Last edited by pulykamell; 08-12-2010 at 10:48 PM..
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  #44  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:22 PM
pravnik pravnik is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyla View Post
It's an American word now, but it's my understanding that "fall" is the original English word, and was retained in America after there was a shift to using "autumn" in Britain. Looking a cite, Wikipedia agrees with me, but there's no cite for it. Hmm. I can't remember where I heard that originally.
I'd heard the same thing, and was planning on posting just that.
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  #45  
Old 08-13-2010, 12:28 AM
Mississippienne Mississippienne is online now
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Origins of the specious: myths and misconceptions of the English language by Patricia T. O'Connor has this to say about the origins of 'fall' and 'autumn':

Quote:
The Americans call it "fall" or "autumn". The British call it "autumn" and think "fall" is a Yankee eccentricity. The truth is that we all once had two words, but the British lost one along the way while the Americans perserved them both. Interestingly, the Brits discarded the Anglo-Saxon word and kept the one they got from the French. The word "fall" has been part of English since the reign of King Alfred the Great in the ninth century, though it wasn't used for the season until the sixteenth century. It made its eloquent debute in a 1545 book on archery: "Spring tyme, somer, faule of the leafe, and winter."
So "fall" is a legitimate English word fossiled in the Americas, much like "apartment" or "gotten" (both often mistaken for Americanisms, both, like "fall", English words largely abandoned by their country of origin).
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  #46  
Old 08-13-2010, 02:17 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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I use 'em pretty much interchangeably. Not much rhyme or reason to it, other than maybe the number of syllables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by multimediac17 View Post
I'm Australian too and I don't ever hear "fall", we always say "autumn". In my experience you'd get funny looks if you suddenly referred to the season as "fall" (unless of course you were American), it's considered an Americanism like "sidewalk" or "vacation".
"Vacation" is an Amercanism? What do they call it in Australia, then?
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  #47  
Old 08-13-2010, 02:19 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
I"Vacation" is an Amercanism? What do they call it in Australia, then?
Everybody goes on "holiday."
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  #48  
Old 08-13-2010, 02:32 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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I mostly (but not always) say "fall".

Greek: φθινόπωρο (fthinoporo), which roughly translates as "fall of the fruits".
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  #49  
Old 08-13-2010, 06:07 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Fall: short, blunt, casual, American, to the point (like me!)
Autumn: more ... poetic, a bit high-falutin', more descriptive of the season than the actual event. Martha Stewart can expound on her new collection of washcloths in autumnal colors. But kids go back to school in the fall, not autumn.
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  #50  
Old 08-13-2010, 06:57 PM
kidneyfailure kidneyfailure is offline
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I think "autumn" sounds nicer than "fall," though I use both equally as often. Whichever I feel like saying I say.

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