Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's in a Name?

I'm seeing trees with hints of orange, red, and yellow hued leaves!
Yes, it's that time of year again-- the time for hot apple cider, pumpkins, gourds, corn mazes, apple picking, boots, sweaters, and bonfires.
This is my personal favorite season and, unlike the other three seasons, it has two names: "Fall" or "Autumn." What is the difference you may ask? And why are there two names? Well, there is no difference in meaning, but there is a difference in their usage and origins.
The term, "fall" is more commonly used in American and Canadian English, while "autumn" is used in the British dialect. "Fall" originated in Old English during the 16th century. It is short for the phrases "fall of the year" or "fall of the leaf." It was not until some centuries later, with the influence of French, that the British began to use the word "autumn" instead of "fall."
Of course, if you search Google or Wikipedia, you can find more information on this topic, but this is just a quick snippet!
In my own experience as an American, both words are acceptable, but "fall" is more commonly used in speech. Nevertheless, whichever word you choose to use, I hope you all enjoy some of the autumnal perks (see first paragraph) of a North American Fall!