Monday, December 7, 2009

Off Color

Have you ever heard of something being “off color”? What color is “off color” exactly? Because even if a color is slightly off from another color, it’s still a color. I imagine this phrase came into being in the pre-Crayola 64 pack era because now, every color is a color. And sometimes one color can be several colors. Let me explain.

You used to have normal colors: red, green, blue, yellow, etc. Then came the Crayola 64 pack (with built-in crayon sharpener in the back of the box). The C64P (as it’s known in crayon connoisseur circles) changed everything you thought you knew about colors with names like Umber Tan and Burnt Sienna. So what used to be “off color” because it was not quite brown but not quite red now became something else.

Historians agree that the advent of the C64P was the immediate precursor to the modern “color crisis” that we are still suffering from today. Color names no longer have any meaning as the slightest amount of “off color” content is now given a name and called a different color.

This brings me back to my point about every color being a color. Take two thirds green, one twelfth orange, ninety nine six hundred fifty sevenths brown, and one half blue and what does that give you? Whatever you want! Just make something up and now you have a new color! The problem with this (especially for married men whose wives are wanting to paint or repaint a room of the house) is that they are forced to look at and attempt to decide between 47 different “shades of white”. But whether she ends up picking Egg Shell, Snow Flake, Bunny Tail, Cotton Ball, Cloud Shapes, or NHL Player, it’s all still just white!

So, here are some color names for you to think about and try and decide what sort of “off color” they are:






And my personal favorite…