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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 >yellow.
Maybe this is so in French but not English? (I am just thinking here, I may be way off.) "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! *Muke! --


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Maarten van Beek <dungeonmaster@...>