Ever wondered why three of our seasons (summer, winter, and spring) have but a single name, while the most glorious of all seasons (ahem, no bias here!) can be called either autumn or fall? Just the other day I made an off-hand comment to Wilson about how it's called "fall" because that's what the leaves do, but I wasn't sure where the term "autumn" came from.
Said question was still rattling around in my brain earlier this week when I stumbled upon this article, which explains the whole linguistic conundrum beautifully. Apparently before either "fall" or "autumn" appeared in mainstream English usage, the period between summer and winter was generally referred to as "harvest." I must admit, that term has a nice homey, traditional ring to it that I quite like.
I'm sure most of us city-folk have little cause to call this season "harvest" anymore, but don't you think it's a nice reminder that despite having 24/7 access to pretty much every kind of food imaginable, there is still a pattern to growing things and the harvesting of crops that no cutting-edge technology or international trade can ever fully replace? In any case, call it what you will, I do so love this time of year... pumpkin-cravings and all! :)
P.S. Linguistic article found via Tim Challies' website. That man finds the coolest stuff on the web!
P.P.S. My favourite part of the article is the very last paragraph - love the whole Britain vs. America dynamics, tee hee!