So it’s Autumn, then…


Yep. The trees are changing colour, it’s getting considerably wetter/darker/colder, and there also appears to be something else that comes and goes every year, but not in the same vein as the other things I’ve mentioned…

Over the next few weeks, or maybe even from now, take a listen to weather forecasters attempting to describe the weather. Be it any other time of the year, you’re ears would probably be bombarded with adjectives like sunny, windy, muggy and maybe even something bizarre like a high possibility of cows falling from cloudless skies.

True story.

But it all gets weird around this time of year. Forecasters, meteorologists and weather-enthusiasts alike all seem to forget these adjectives, descriptions and, if the above is anything to go by, phenomena. Instead, their descriptions seem to be replaced by variations on this phrase:

The weather is very autumnal.

This was a pattern spotted a few years ago by my Dad (who seems constantly vexed by this utterance) and ever since I can’t help but notice the prevalence of the word autumnal in the speech of forecasters. There are a few questions that are raised from this too:

  • People can describe the weather as wintery or summery, but never autumny or springy. Is this a reason for using autumnal instead?
  • If we’re going with autumnal, why don’t we use the other words in similiar association, namely vernal, estival and hibernal?
  • Is it actually just a case of boredom and weather forecasters want to seem more educated by using autumnal, with its unusual spelling and slightly weird pronunciation?
  • Taking into account all of these above ponderings, the final question arises: will it rain cows this autumn?!
Again, as with an earlier post, I don’t really know the answers to these questions, but I can guarantee that now I’ve said it, you’ll hear it a lot more!
Also, what with all the climate shenanigans going on, it leads me to ask whether the seasons can remain as the typical four categories that we’ve all grown up with. Apparently, there are two other words that can describe two seasons that seem to be appearing more and more within certain climates: prevernal (pre-Spring) and serotinal (late summer). Imagine: we could be using six rarely-used words all the time to accurately describe seasons and thus make them mainstream, meaning that cloudy and rainy would become the new rarities, and we’d all sound slightly more upper-class…

"Oh, look Marvin! The serortinal weather has brought out the sun loungers' colour recently."

…or just silly.

One thought on “So it’s Autumn, then…

  1. Fiona Houghton

    In French we say, is raining like the cow that pisseth…

    Bit more, shall we say, down to earth than cats and dogs, non ?

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