German Word(s) of the Day
Herbst is the word for autumn or fall. Once again, being precise, there is one word instead of two. I wonder if there is a difference in their meanings, but am too lazy to walk to the next room to consult a dictionary or to make a few mouse clicks and type the two words.
In New England, seasons are easier to ascertain using the weather. Here, one needs a calendar or a watch, because the weather can deceive. If a calendar is not handy, a glance at a watch or clock tower at dawn or dusk gives a clue. Days become shorter, as summer oozes into fall or autumn with the march of time and the earth’s trip around the sun.
Weather in September is usually better than much of what people must endure in June, July, and August. Today will be sunny and warm (up to 30° C, which is about 85° in the less practical F-world). People that tried to vacation in July would have loved such weather; but they had to put up with warm clothes, rubber boots, and umbrellas (rain and 10-15°).
September and October are sometimes called Spätsommer (late summer), when the weather is like one would expect in actual summer according to the calendar. Of course, no one calls July “early autumn” (Frühherbst could be, but is not, a word), if the weather turns out to be like one expects July weather.
Confused? Trying planning outdoor activities or buying seasonal fashions in this country in advance. It’s a crapshoot. One wakes up, looks out the window, and chooses whatever is appropriate for the inappropriate weather...
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Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.