CHAT: Indigo (was: Orange)
|From:||Muke Tever <alrivera@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, June 4, 2002, 22:06|
From: "Christophe Grandsire" <christophe.grandsire@...>
>> First time I ran across the idea that there's seven colours in the
>> rainbow was in a school book which claimed that, actually, there are
>> only six colours in it - indigo being a kind of blue.
>Grr... I hate this kind of remarks. Saying that indigo is a kind of blue is
>like saying that orange is a kind of red or green is a kind of blue. The fact
>that the Japanese didn't have a separate word for green and blue (both being
>aoi) doesn't mean that green and blue are the same colour, nor that the
>Japanese can't make the difference (they can, as well as anybody else). Indigo
>is *not* a kind of blue. Blue stops on the spectrum where indigo begins. That's
>the definition of the colour and no other. What you perceive is something else,
>and you may not perceive the difference between blue and indigo, or just
>learned the word so late that you're used to call "blue" what in reality should
>be called "indigo". Yet indigo exists as a separate colour and it is unfair to
>put it down as "a kind of blue". It's not a kind of blue to me. To me it's
>simply the colour that goes between blue and purple (which are not connected to
>me), just like green goes between yellow and blue or orange between red and
Maybe this is so in French but not English? (I am just thinking here, I may be
"Indigo" is not a commonly used color word at all IME--the only contexts I hear
it in are as a member of "ROY G BIV" and as a dye.
As for not being "a kind of blue", the following sentence should be possible,
though I've never heard anyone say something like it:
*That's not blue, it's indigo!
However I did have a conversation last week with a cow orker wearing a dark blue
(indigo if you like) bandanna... another cow orker called it "purple" (which it
really wasn't it all) and he said:
It's not purple, it's blue!
And of course it's not that people can't tell the difference--it's just that it
doesn't enter into their basic classifications, just like with "aoi". For a
time I experimented with using separate "basic" words for light blue ("sky
[blue]") and dark blue ("indigo") and it was quite an experience... All of a
sudden so many things I thought of as monochromatic became patterns of color!