Monday, May 25, 2015

The color Grue and the Russian blues - a color by any name

Today I learned that there is a word "Grue" which is a portmaneau of green and blue, used to stand for the entire spectrum between green and blue. Some people may even call it Bleen(Nelson Goodman)

It's pitch Black - You are likely eaten by a grue grue" part ocular bat", part "unusual hoon", and part man

This word is necessary because in several languages like ancient Japanese, Vietnamese, Egyptian and ancient Chinese, there are no separate words for Green and Blue.

For them, the grass and the sky are both different shades of the same color Grue. The traffic light too - they are blue for go in Japan.

Modern Japanese and Modern Chinese now have made separate words for blue and green - a side effect of the global nature of the modern world.

There are separate words in Modern Japanese for Blue  青(Ao) and Green 緑(Midori) since the time of the first world war. Midori(green) is the new color derived from the Japanese word for new plant shoots.

Mmeanwhile in Russia, Blue itself is divided into two - light blue (goluboy) and dark blue (siniy) are totally different colors. This piqued the curiosity of scientists who found that Russians were able to match colors faster in this area.

In most places, You split GRUE.
In Soviet Russia, You split BLUE.

Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination(journal article)

Here is a video on the issue of Grue the color:

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