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Re: CHAT: Our opinions of what can be called 'winter' (was: OT: Merry Christmas!)

From:J. 'Mach' Wust <j_mach_wust@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 28, 2004, 14:31
On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 15:02:39 +0100, Andreas Johansson <andjo@...> wrote:

>Quoting Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>: > >> But a question I want to ask... In Australia, if you list the seasons, >> you normally go Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring. Is this normal, or a >> southernhemispherism (where summer is the first season of the year, so >> it makes sense to start the list there). > >As far as I'm concerned, it's Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, presumably >for no more profound reason than that the new year begins in early winter.
I've heard it's the old Germanic tradition to start the new year in autumn (september/october).
>We don't give exact start and end dates to seasons here, but winter is >roughly late November to early March, spring onto later May, summer until >early September, and then autumn till mid November again. Yes, this means >that summer and winter are closer to four months each, while autumn and >spring are not much more than two months each. That's how I think of it >anyway.
It's the other way round in Switzerland: Short summer and short winter, but long seasons inbetween (except in the higher regions, where the winter is longer). We usually think of Switzerland as being a place with real winter, that is, cold and snowy, but in the lower regions, snow falls only about four times a winter and melts away within very few days, unless in very cold winters when there may be up to several weeks with the thermometer below 0 degrees Celsius. People use to complain that there's less and less snow.
>> (Incidentally, my Swedish boss reckons that winters in Australia are a >> lot worse than winters in Sweden. In Sweden, they know it gets cold, >> and so prepare for it by having such modern technologies as jackets and >> central heating and glögg, whereas in Melbourne, we forget about such >> things, believing Australia to be a hot place already, and freeze >> instead.) > >I can believe that. I've never spent a winter in Spain, but various >relatives and friends that have agree you freeze alot more there than you >do in Sweden; Swedish houses are built to retain heat, Spanish ones to keep >it away, and often lack central heating.
I've experienced this as well, in Argentine. I also wondered first whether they'd use the words summer/winter for the weather or for the time, but I noticed very quickly they were used for the weather. kry@_^s: j. 'mach' wust