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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drop spring

Drop spring

Editors:

In the interests of furthering the North-South dialogue, I ask that authors of documents

with a likely distribution in the tropics or the Southern Hemisphere avoid using

Northern Hemisphere seasons to indicate time periods.

To refer to the second quarter of the next calendar year as "spring 1994"

is not a useful term for those who experience only a Wet or a Dry season, and is

confusing for those living in the Southern Hemisphere temperate zones where spring

occurs in the last quarter of the calendar year.

The term "fall" for autumn, furthermore, may be familiar to North Americans

but is less common elsewhere and makes little sense in countries with a paucity of

deciduous trees.

Finally, the homonymic properties of the above two terms can lead to difficulties

as illustrated by the following limerick which I read many years ago:

There was a young fellow named Hall,

Who fell in the spring in the fall.

T'would have been a sad thing

If he'd died in the spring,

But he didn't: he died in the fall.

- Susan Aitkin, Box 29 Phnom Penh

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