Monday, 1 September 2008

Don't talk about an Indian Summer yet.

I think most meteorologists reckon that the first of September is the start of autumn and with the wind picking up and yet more rain coming it certainly feels as if that season has arrived! Even though Saturday was a cracking day weatherwise that was just a quick glimpse of what summer should have been like and the forecast for this week is fairly dire with maybe Thursday promising something a little better. Now I am going to get on a favourite hobby horse of mine and that is the misuse of the term 'Indian Summer'. Looking back through the blog I see that on September 24th last year I wrote about the same subject so sorry to go on about it but like many folk I have my particular irritations!

So let me explain! As soon as September comes those hosting radio programmes will start asking whoever is about to broadcast the weather "Is there any chance of an Indian Summer?" as if that might happen in a few days time. The term 'Indian Summer' refers to a short period of warm sunny and quiet weather that we sometimes get to enjoy toward the end of October and in November. It does not refer to that sort of weather in September but unfortunately many imagine it does. I know English is a living language and I'm grateful for that but it's still frustrating when such definitions get so misused that their wrong interpretation becomes normal practice.

This reminds me of another pet hate - "rather unique". To me unique refers to something of which there is only one and not something that is merely rare. Therefore that word needs no further qualification. OK that's the end of this particular rant!!

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