Neither. I call this the pre-party to Hell freezing over: winter in Illinois.
In polite company, though, I generally use fall; I find it’s more descriptive. I mean, the temperatures fall, the leaves fall, the light falls, and my spirits, oy, they don’t fall so much as plummet. They rain down like space junk — aaaaaaaaaaahsplat.
Poets and lyricists, however, they prefer autumn. It sounds more romantic, more poetic than plain, old fall. But what, I ask, is romantic about a season defined as “a period of maturity verging on decline” by the American Heritage Dictionary (Fourth Edition)? That sounds more like a sell-by-date than something belonging in verse.
Autumn, I’m sure, would be more popular if it was followed by the delight that is spring. You know, if nature’s cycle went spring, summer, fall, and then right back to spring again. But where’s winter, you wonder? The Arctic Circle…
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