View Full Version : Colour-challenged ?

19-01-07, 20:17
Read the following article as a warm up :

The Economist : Psychology - How grue is your valley? (http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8548630)

So Welsh language, like old Japanese for instance, does not distinguish between green and blue. I have met people who didn't seem to distinguish orange from red.

I have always been very sensitive to colours. As a child I frequently argued with my class mates because they said that something was blue, when for me it was turquoise or lilac/purple (mauve in French, which does not correspond to "mauve" in English). I have never considered turquoise to be either blue nor green, but a completely separate colour in between. Likewise "lilac", "violet" "pink", "fuchsia" and "salmon" are as distinct colours for me as yellow, orange and red.

This becomes interesting because when I checked violet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violet_%28color%29) in Wikipedia, there were over 30 shades, none of which really look like my definition of violet. I learned as a child that "lilac" and "violet" were both obtained by mixing blue and red, but "lilac" tended more toward the blue, while "violet" tended more toward to the red or pink.

Naturally each computer screen renders colours differently, but on the Wikipedia page linked above, I would classify the colours this way :


Medium Purple
Generic Purple
Bright Violet
Deep Lilac
Languid Lavender
Bright Lavender
Dark Lavender
Rich Lavender
Wikipedia Link Lavender
Halaya Ube


Deep Violet
Pigment Violet
Dark Orchid


Lavender Pink
Lavender Rose
Brilliant Lavender
Medium Lavender

In the shades of violet at the bottom of the page, I would group Amethyst, Indigo, Lilac, Purple, Violet and Wisteria in the same category ("lilac/purple"). On the other hand Eggplant and Violet-eggplant would be under what I call "violet". Their Fuchsia, Magenta, Red-Violet and Rose are what I commomly call "fuchsia".

The article from the Economist says that many people categorise colours in 6 main categories. I have had 16 clear-cut categories in my head since my childhood, among which all other shades are classified :

- white
- yellow
- salmon
- orange
- red
- fuchsia
- pink
- violet
- purple (the colour of a lilac, wisteria or amethyst)
- blue
- turquoise
- green
- brown
- beige
- grey
- black

For instance, I classify "azure" or "navy" as shades of blue, and "scarlet", "crimson" or "burgundy" (bordeaux in French, different wine region :p ) as shades or red. But I would never refer to fuchsia as "red" or "pink" like some people do.

01-02-10, 19:33
I'm not very strong with colours, but I'm surprised someone would confuse blue and green. To mix light green and yellow for me is easy though. Also there is only one pink, violet and purple. :)