Thursday, March 30, 2017

We do have new colors--or at least new names

I like to have one tank top in each color for summer. I cruise around eBay and feel limited--we need new colors, I think.

Well, researchers in Japan and Ohio State looked into this. Apparently Japan has more colors with no English equivalent. Example: Pale blue. They don't call it "pale blue"--a shade of another color--they call it "mizu," which translates to "water."

This is similar to say, our color magenta--we don't say purplish-red, we say magenta.

This study was published in the Journal of Vision.

The researchers asked 57 native Japanese speakers to name colors on cards put before them. They came up with 93 unique color terms (they were not allowed to say "light" or "dark").

Almost everyone nailed "mizu." "Kon"--dark blue--was also commonly cited.

For the US part, we say lavender, peach and magenta--no Japanese counterpart.

Mizu is as different from "blue" and Green is from "blue."

We may say "sky" but we don't say it often. We also may say "powder blue," but that includes the word "blue."

Actually I see quite a few weird color descriptions in paint colors and makeup and other venues. Here, in the US. But many are not known and not used outside of ordering from a catalog. Colors like soot, blush, even taupe...which I insist is not a color at all. Neither is beige.

What does this have to do with your everyday life,much less health? It's just interesting. I bet you think about it again today.

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