Even colors have a social status anymore, and I like the poor folk

by Ken Carpenter

The world of color grows more mystifying every day. The colors in the rainbow are not enough anymore and have not been for a long time. Everything has a sissified name like mauve, taupe, or chartreuse and if you dare to call something purple half of the women within a hundred yards will give you that “you idiot” look. The other half think it is purple too, but they will shoot you a half-hearted “you idiot” just to be safe.
What in the name of Boo Boo Bear is mauve, and why was it ever invented? The dictionary says it is pronounced like grove, not mawv, and that it is a pale to moderate grayish violet color.
Gee, that sounds like something I would describe as “kinda purple”. That is not good enough though, plain and simple is so passe’.
Guess what taupe (rhymes with rope) is? A “dusky brownish gray” color, which for some strange reason is also known as fuscous.
Sounds like a disease of the behind to me, and why do all these fancy colors think that just adding a hint of gray spruces up a perfectly good but plain-named color?
Chartreuse at least has the decency to be named after a liqueur. Why anyone would want anything that is a shade of green tinged with yellow I don’t know though. My pasty cheeks were that color the last time I had the stomach flu.
Magenta, a dark purple-red, is named after a battle in 1859 that saw Napoleon kick the stuffing out of a bunch of Austrians. It seems the dye was discovered that year in the same general area, and that would almost make magenta a cool color except for one little thing.
That one thing is fuchsia, which is another name for magenta and yet another color that sounds remarkably like a disease of the rear end.
Azure is either a light shade of blue or a “deep, somewhat purplish blue color similar to that of a clear October sky”. Somebody can’t make up their mind, and I don’t think October skies are a more purplish blue than any other month. By the way, cerulean is a color with the exact same “October sky” description. One never seems to be enough.
Cyan is blue green and is one of the primary pigments. If you put an ide on the end of it and wash it down with a nice glass of chartreuse you could forget about all these darn sick sounding colors.
I bet you thought bisque was a creamy seafood soup. Hah! How foolish of you. It is also a color described as unglazed white porcelain, one of dozens of shades of white that only a professional painter with a microscope can tell apart. Something called gainsboro is one of them, and all I can say about that is that it sounds like a nice place to visit but WHY IS IT A COLOR?
Periwinkle is a light purplish blue and wisteria is a bluish purple, which sounds kind of like the same thing to me. Even though the names are on the fancy side at least they are both associated with a flower.
Much of the oo la la colors of today can be attributed to Crayola Crayons, which started out in 1909 with eight colors and have been abominating standard colors and inventing befuddling names for their updated versions ever since.
I suspect that the female desire to never have to describe their underwear color as something common like white or blue is at the bottom of much of it.
Wouldn’t they be surprised to find out that my undies today are a shade of burnt sienna with a hint of sepia lurking in the background.

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