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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Color coding

It isn't easy being green, especially green with envy. Or in a blue funk on blue Monday.

There are a whole heck of a lot of color related idioms - or what I prefer to think of as color coding. It's a shorthand - or code - for a particular type of feeling. The problem is, as the world becomes smaller, that the codes don't always translate from one culture to another. Still, I love these idioms. When I think about being green with envy, I picture that person's face avocado green - yuch.

That blue funk? It's grey-blue. That purple passion or purple prose - that's just right out blow-you-away hippie purple.

These days, I find the exact right color in my computer. I go to the custom colors and I pick the exact shade of whatever color it is I'm looking for by running my pointer over the color scale. It's perfect - and, of course, it's also obvious that I'm not a visual artist. Because if I were, I would know the names of the color purple I love and not just call it hippie purple.

What about red hot? Red-faced? Red tape? There are dozens more "red" idioms and I wonder why that is, wonder why there are only a few yellow ones and not a single one of them is nice. And then there are the idioms related to white (and why is a white elephant sale called that?). White as a sheet, I get, but white elephant?

I bet you can think of idioms that use blue, red or black. But what about orange? Or brown? Or even rose?

I just don't get it.


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