Debate: What is the Better Name of This Season: Fall or Autumn?

By Jake & Glenn 

In this controversial debate, Glenn and Jake try to figure out which name for the currently occuring season is more fitting: fall or autumn. If it turns out to be fall then Jake has promised to eat a pile of dead bees (stingers removed). If autumn turns out to be the winner, then Glenn has vowed to streak at the most inappropriate place: a Ray Stevens concert while he is singing his hit song “The Streak.”

Jake: This is an exceedingly intriguing topic to me. On one hand you have ‘fall,’ the classic and shorter name for this season. If you are in a hurry, then you are probably a fall person. Yet, ‘autumn’ wreaks of pure class. When ‘autumn’ leaves my lips or enters my earholes, I imagine those awful Grey Poupon commercials from the 90s. I would bet $50,000 that they took place in autumn. Those commercials are the classiest thing I can think of, and I doubt our readers can name anything classier. When I hear ‘fall’ I immediately think of the TV show Lassie, because every episode was about Timmy falling down a well. Fall is just a dangerous name. It is frightening. I would not ever say it around children or easily-startled adults. Fall is something a high school drop out would say while they are shooting heroin into the vein under their tongue. Fall is something you would hear in an Adam Sandler movie. Autumn is what Jane Austen, Robert Frost and Judy Tenuta call it. If it is good enough for Tenuta then it is good enough for me.

Glenn: This is not a very intriguing topic to me. I see my opponent putting on some big time pretenses, not unlike a high minded “coffee party.” Yes, “autumn” is very distinguished and yes “fall” is a word so low brow and crass it belongs at a tea party rally. But there are other ways to refine the English language beyond what we learned in our Masters English programs. Call me a simpleton, but I like using Fall because it’s so simple. Leaves fall and so we name a season as such. It’s the same reason we use the term Spring (when we “spring forward” with daylight savings time). Or the same reason I say “back pain” after a long shift at the textiles plant. Just think about that. We named a part of the body the “back” because it’s on your back side. If that’s okay, then calling this season fall surely is.

Jake: I do not think that it is incorrect to call the season ‘fall,’ I just find it to be uncouth. I am into the finer things in life: caviar, pine scent, fois gras, Volvos and the complete series of Frasier on DVD. If I wanted to seem like a common man, I would go around saying ‘fall’ and ‘ain’t’ like Joe Sixpack. I do not want to come off like a peon, but Glenn does. Glenn watched too many Jerry “The King” Lawler interviews growing up and began to believe Lawler’s declaration of the audience as his peons to be more than just a way to get cheap heat. I never bought into the hype. Jerry Lawler is not even a king, he’s just a human like the rest of us, and like all humans, he must choose whether to call this season autumn of fall. Autumn is an amazing season where leaves change color and the weather cools. Fall is a horrible season where everything is dying and slowly decomposing before it begins to snow and we all freeze to death. I want to jump into a pile of leaves in ‘autumn,’ but I do not want to fall into the open grave that is the season ‘fall.’

Glenn: How dare you compare me to Jerry Lawler. I haven’t been this offended since you compared me to Larry King. When I think of fall, I think of leaves falling and how can leaves turn into a pile WITHOUT falling? They can’t. Also, “Autumn” is the name of a 2009 movie about a virus that kills millions and the post-apocalyptic landscape that remains. That’s not my idea of a nice October day. I hate to bring baseball into this, but the World Series is called the “Fall Classic.” There is no autumn classic and if there was, it would be something held deep within the secret society of our nation’s ivy league schools. I’m talking about places like Skull & Bones, where they rape first year students as an initiation rite. That’s not my idea of a nice October day.

Jake: Nothing is your idea of a nice October day. You seem to be down on October days and I, for one, cannot stand to hear any more autumn bashing from the likes of you. I have had plenty of nice days in October and until you started dragging its name through the mud, this was one of them. Fuck baseball. Autumn is a time when pals carve faces into pumpkins and display them until they are rotting and smell worse than Roseanne’s body odor. Fall is a time where your chums get into a collision with a drunk driver and die clawing at the window as the car is engulfed in flames. The only calming thought about that is that they died of suffocation and not from being burned alive. If that is your idea of a nice fall day, then you disgust me. Fall is a time when horrible new reality shows take over the television airwaves. In autumn, you walk hand-in-hand with your best girl, wearing sweaters, and sit under a tree and neck. In fall your girlfriend is murdered at an interstate rest stop.

Glenn: I hate to bring up obscure websites I find while looking up speculum videos, but just take a look at this. Called “An Autumn Day” this represents everything I hate about Autumn. The embedded midi background, the Tripod hosting, and the tacit defense of the Armenian Genocide (silence is acceptance). That is what Autumn has always felt like to me: an obnoxious, poorly designed Tripod website. It’s not as if Fall is so fancy - though the alliteration makes it appropriate - but rather that Fall gives you what you need and nothing more. When I think of Fall I think of Fall Brawl: Wargames, the famous WCW pay-per-view. I also think of The Fall, my favorite post-punk group from Manchester besides Oasis. These are great memories of my childhood, growing up in small town Illinois, listening to the Fall on my headphones on my way to rent Fall Brawl from the video store on a brisk Autumn day. Don’t take that away from me.


  1. I didn't realize a debate like Fall vs Autumn (both name for the season in the northern hemisphere during which temperatures get colder) could get so heated!

  2. wresting, roseanne - is this debate heaven??

  3. what a great debate. personally, i like fall better. has anyone every heard of 'autumn fashion?' no and if they did they'd probably cringe. i pick fall because i like alliteration.

  4. autumn...definitely autumn. if there's anything i'm sure about in my crazy life it's that autumn is the way to go.
    great debate!