Saturday, October 15, 2011

Indian summer
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Peninsula readers' letters: October 15
From Daily News Group readers Posted: 10/14/2011 05:50:05 PM PDTUpdated: 10/14/2011 11:43:42 PM PDT

Origin of 'Indian summer'
Dear Editor: The origins of the term Indian summer are uncertain, but several writers suggest it may have been based on the warm, hazy conditions in autumn when native American Indians chose to hunt. The earliest record of the use of the term is in America at the end of the 18th century.
William R. Deedler also references the term to a French man, John de Crevecoeur, in 1778: "Sometimes the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warmth which is called the Indian Summer; its characteristics are a tranquil atmosphere and general smokiness. Up to this epoch the approaches of winter are doubtful; it arrives about the middle of November, although snows and brief freezes often occur long before that date."
The term was first used in the British Isles at the beginning of the 19th century, but there is no statistical evidence to show that such a warm spell tends to recur each year.
Ted Rudow III, MA
Palo Alto

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