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Re: CHAT: The calendar

From:Tristan McLeay <zsau@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 12:47
On Tue, 16 Sep 2003, John Cowan wrote:

> Tristan McLeay scripsit: > > > Spring in Australia starts on 1 September and finishes on 30 November. > > (People stare at me in disbelief and might follow up with comments of > > Americans' stupidity if I mention you start your seasons around the > > soltices and equinoxes.) Sorry, I forgot to mention that, coming from > > Australia as I do, the seasons are switched. > > Well, of course they are. One might as well ask why you in the Southern > Hemisphere insist on celebrating Christmas in the middle of summer, > instead of moving the *nominal* date to 25 June so that it would be > a proper winter festival. (And Rosta's theory is that this was the > settlers' attempt to pretend that they were still in Britain, No Matter > What.)
While I'm not sure why this popped up, I'll just say that while we're taught (or at least, while I was taught in a Catholic primary school) that Easter is a Spring festival, there has never been *any* relationship between winter and christmas in my mind, other than through things like Santa Claus and Jingle Bells, which aren't about what Christmas is about. If all of a suddon the northern hemisphere became unpopulated and I was colonising it, I might switch Easter around, but never Christmas (ignoring the fact that that'd make 'em backwards).
> My point is that while our fall may be your spring, the word "fall" is > never synonymous for us with the word "spring", whereas it is synonymous > with the word "autumn".
Okay, I phrased myself badly. In fact, what I said contradicted what I intended to say. Sometimes, 'fall' translates into 'autumn', othertimes it translates into approximately the same period of time as is associated with spring. Someone in the US might say 'I'll have it done by fall': this means 'I'll have it done by the period of time occupied by south. hem. spring' (which needs to be expanded as '... by Sept.--Nov.' before it makes sens to me). (In fact, it has the second meaning more often IME.) Is that clearer? -- Tristan <kesuari@...> Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement. -- Snoopy