Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Plain Old Blue and Green

I get a kick out of reading the color description of clothing in just about any catalog. It's almost as if the writers are trying to outdo themselves each edition with more interesting names for the same basic colors. For those of you who enjoy writing, reading the descriptions helps to open your mind to words you may not have thought of using. Catalogs are almost better than a thesaurus for finding alternate words. This statement just reminded me of a Seinfeld episode where Elaine is writing for a catalog and describes the Urban Sombrero.

I've been looking through the Cabela's Camping catalog (they also have a boating, fishing, hunting, shooting, archery, mens clothing, womens clothing, and whatever else you can think of catalog - I know this to be true because all the various editions come to my house....often.)

The various shades of blue clothing are described as:

Coastal Blue, Marine, Denim, Ceylon (isn't that a tea?), Sapphire, Deep Blue, Sea Blue, Steel, Navy, Lake, Midnight Navy, Lagoon, Blue Haze, Country Blue, Indigo, Teal, Mallard, Sea Spray, and Sail. That's all in just 17 pages.

Now, lets try Green.

We have Dark Moss, Light Green (boring!), Lime, Ivy, Jacaranda (?), Evergreen, Olive, Cactus, Woodland, Yucca, Key Lime (not to be confused with plain old Lime), Forest, Foliage (both light and dark), Limpet, and Sage.

I know that every time we order color print cartridges at work I have to remind myself what Magenta and Cyan mean. Which one is blue, which one is red? I have finally learned that magenta means red and cyan means blue, but then I feel like a fool because I don't know how to pronounce cyan. Is it a hard C like Cayenne pepper? Or a soft C like the King of Siam. Cyan.

Why don't they just label it blue? It would sure alleviate all my concerns!


Aunt Krissy said...

Thats why I don't get art people. Blue just can't be blue. I mean, come on, sail blue? all the sails I have seen are white.

K. said...

Cyan is pronounced with an S sound, fwiw. :)

What makes it really hard is when a company will call different colors the same thing - olive, for example. So if you buy a t-shirt in olive and want to buy a matching sweater to wear over it, and you get olive for that, they'll be completely different colors.

There is a Cabela's about forty-five minutes from here that is awesome to go to. Lots of animals and displays to look at in addition to the shopping.

Aunt Krissy's "sail blue" comment made me laugh!

tainterturtles said...

When I've ordered online for clothes, I've always had to study the color swatches because you can never go by the color description...I totally understand your frustration P!

crochet lady said...

Color descriptions can be crazy. I suppose they think people will be more eager to buy something with an exotic sounding name.

Crayons can be another inspiration for interesting color names. I remember Crayola's Jungle Green and Robin's Egg blue as some of my favorites.