Posted: May 1, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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A computer model reveals how the way we agree on names for colours is more complex than meets the eye. We do not always agree about colour. Your red might be my pink or orange. Vietnamese and Korean people do not differentiate blue from green – leaves and sky are both coloured xanh in Vietnam. The late English artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman once met a friend on London’s Oxford Street and complimented him on his beautiful yellow coat. His friend replied that he had bought it in Tokyo, where it was not considered yellow at all, but green. These overlaps and omissions are unnoticeable if they are part of your culture –but they can seem utterly bizarre if they are not. We should not be too surprised by these cultural differences, though. The visible spectrum is not like a paint colour chart, neatly separated into blocks of distinct hue, but is a continuum in which each colour blends into the next. Why should we expect to agree on where to set the boundaries, or on which colours are the most fundamental? The yellow band, say, is as wide as the cyan band, so why is yellow considered any more ‘basic’ than cyan? (via BBC – Future – Science & Environment – Colours: Differing points of hue)


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