In (the?) season x

Scott Swanson harview at MONTANA.COM
Sat Oct 26 04:30:57 UTC 2002

On Fri, 25 Oct 2002, Peter A. McGraw wrote:

> A question for the list.
> When referring to the seasons:
> 1) Do you use the article in the construction: "in (the)
> spring/summer/fall/winter"?

Interesting. "The" seems pretty strongly-bound with spring and fall. To
say just 'in spring' sounds strange to me. I want to say either 'in the
spring' or 'in springtime'. 'In the fall' is almost obligatory; there is
no 'falltime'. 'In summer' seems slightly more possible but still somewhat
awkward without the 'the'. However, 'in winter' sounds perfectly correct
to my ear. Might it be due to the [perceived] lengths of these seasons? It
is very natural to say 'over the course of a winter', somewhat less so to
use that phrase with a summer, and completely out of the question to use
it with spring or fall. I am reporting with a frostbitten ear attuned to
40-plus years of living in the far northern reaches of Montana.....

Scott Swanson
Pendroy, Montana

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