Understanding cultural colour perception

I agree, but it does seem to confirm that they perceived them differently - what I mean is, even if they saw the same colours (which I believe they did), the way their mind dealt with them was different. The boundaries we put on categories of things may be arbitrary, but they can influence our thinking all the same.

I don’t buy into any theory that says there’s very little blue in nature. Sure, if you never look up (or live in the forest, I guess)

I recall hearing a radio program on the subject in which the reporter was visiting a tribe whose language did not have the color blue, and he pointed up at the sky and asked “What color is that?” And the answer was something along the lines of “What are you talking about? You mean the sun? The clouds? What do you mean between them? There’s nothing there.”

This is less about color perception than about color vocabulary.

Newspeak - in living COLOR

This sounds dangerously like the story about the Americans who supposedly could not see the Conquistador’s ships because they hadn’t conceived of them before.

It is already in effect. Slap a “Red State” or “Blue State” label on, and no nuanced consideration of the ideas of the citizens is needed.

Interesting. Back when I was in college the professor, who was a world-class expert on Classical Civs but had no neuroscience background, explained the wine-dark sea by saying that ancient Greeks didn’t group colors by “color” but by saturation. A deep dark red, and a deep dark blue and a deep dark green were the same “color”, and a wispy pink, a wispy blue and a wispy green were the same color.

It sounds like that theory isn’t widely supported.

And in people with … ahem … “red” hair.

A disturbing indication in itself as to how common fleas were back then.

Better link to this column before Cecil comes in and gives us hell. Post 30. Sheesh.:wink:

When Blue Meant Yellow: How Colors Got Their Names, by Jeanne Heifetz, is a kid’s book on this topic which is fascinating.

Except that this was a first person account. And it’s more plausible in the sense that the sky isn’t actually a tangible object.

That is complete BS.

I thought Homer was supposed to have been blind.

I think that’s romantic speculation, based on interpretations of the meaning of “homeros.”

Orange is a loan word in European languages, from the fruit of the same colour. Still, Norwegian had a word for that colour before oranges arrived, “branngul” literally fire-yellow. Carrot in Norwegian? Gulerot - lit. yellow-root.

Interesting - is “orange” named after “oranges”? That was my theory. Thus redheads are demonstrating that before the tropical fruit trade, orange was called “red” in England?

(Forgot about carrots. Good points there…)

It’s really a safety thing. If carmakers didn’t come up with names like “deep impact blue” or “ingot silver” for their paint schemes, the roads would be full of accidents from people running into cars that were effectively invisible because their brains couldn’t process the colors.

I’ve been closely looking at traffic lights today, and, to me, it’s clearly closer to yellow than orange. It’s a saturated orange-ish yellow, but I’d say more yellow than orange. It’s yellower than what we call “school bus yellow” (which I do think is more orange than yellow.)

I find it funny that from the real results “salmon” is the only male-only colour. I imagine that it is out of a necessity to find a way for some dress shirts to be “not pink”.