Posted by: episystechpubs | December 16, 2014

Editor’s Corner: The second day of English

On the second day of English

My true love gave to me

Two seasonal etymologies.

These brief explanations and etymologies are from Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips about seasons.


An equinox, which literally means an “equal night,” occurs when the sun’s path crosses the plane of the earth’s equator, making day and night of about equal length throughout the earth. This happens twice a year — about March 21 (for the spring equinox) and about September 23 (for the autumnal equinox); those are the dates for the Northern Hemisphere; they’re switched for the Southern Hemisphere.


The word “solstice” means “sun standing.” There are two solstices: the summer solstice (on about June 21) and the winter solstice (on about December 21). The solstices refer to the times in the year when the sun’s rays reach their southernmost point on the planet (the Tropic of Capricorn) and their northernmost point on the planet (the Tropic of Cancer).

Kara’s quick and dirty tip:

The names of seasons are not capitalized unless they are part of a proper noun. Examples:

· We’re camping at Spring River when the leaves start turning colors next autumn.

· I prefer the Winter Olympics because I love skiing!

· The Princeton Summer Course Catalog is actually published at the end of spring break.

Kara Church

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