Monday, November 17, 2008

The Adventure for Amazingly August Adjectives

Also, amorous assonance. *heart* Although I actually do enjoy the majuscule A from a typographical point of view (and therefore from a calligraphic view as well), it's strangely not my favourite letter of the alphabet. (Naturally, of course, this worldview changes when I'm getting letter grades on my essays and assignments. Then I want all A's, baby!) Anyway. I'm sitting in the reading room (or quiet study room) in the Student Life Centre on campus, trying to think up a slightly less homophilic title for a friend's photo album (working title: "Boys of Summer"), and this naturally led to the desire to form an adjective for "summer". Summery? summerly? summerian? The first two are actually words that pertain to summer, but it's still not what I wanted. And here is where OED fails again. I've mentioned it before, so I don't see the need to expand on it again. But basically, I needed to look elsewhere for a list of season-related adjectives. And thus, I chanced upon a site that offered them. And so, the four adjectives for the four seasons!
  • Spring = Vernal
  • Summer = Estival
  • Autumn = Autumnal
  • Winter = Hibernal
"autumnal" is perhaps the most transparent of the four, and also the best known for its collocation "equinox," whence one might also find "vernal." However, given the relative obscurity of both terms, I suppose they're still only known by about 5% of the English-speaking population. (NB: "5%" is not a statistically researched number; it is based on the extremely volatile intuition of the former honours mathematics student) As for "Æstival" and "Hibernal," I think the salience is even weaker.
Yay! As any good poet or wordsmith knows, there are also adjectives that describe colours (which are already adjectives). That's why we have crimson, scarlet, vermilion and sanguine to describe 'red' without having to resort to fruits (unlike, say, "pomegranate red," or "lemon yellow," etc...) Personally, I think that resorting to precious gems is sorta pushing it as well (ie emerald green, ruby red, sapphire blue, etc.)
Just a quick post for now; more serious post to come soon! :D

1 comment:

b.p. said...

now that you mention it, i did think your ikea venture was a lil...well, what you said ;). the staff just let you guys wander around like that and shoot b/c that's pretty cool!