Talk:Color/Archive 3

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See Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National varieties of English for the official guideline on this topic.
See also wiktionary:color. Color was the original latin spelling. The French gave us the 'u'. Blame the Normans.

As mentioned in 'Talk Archive 2', by NPOV this page should conform to the International English spelling of COLOUR, as opposed to the American English spelling COLOR. Color should redirect to Colour and not the other way round. Saccerzd 14:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I didn't see any consensus one way or the other in the archive. Powers 14:43, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Here it is. --Yath 22:45, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Ha! That's a great thread :)
The actual history of the word was really interesting though, and is nicely summarised in the Wikt:Color etymology section. Could someone work that link into the lead section, in addition to the spelling differences link? -Quiddity 01:08, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. A consensus indeed. A STRONG consensus to keep the title as it is, completely the opposite of what Saccerzd claimed. Interesting. Powers 01:13, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
This poor article has been plagued with these discussions more than discussion of the actual content. According to Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English, unless the topic is specifically related to a particular country (which Color is not), we should keep it the way it was created. I say this as an American who more or less prefers the Commonwealth spelling. It's better to spend our energies on improving the article content rather than argue over how to spell. This article could use a lot of work (references and addition of artistic concepts to name two areas for improvement); how about we focus on those? I cannot express strongly enough how much I dread seeing this talk page filled with this debate yet again. -- Laura S | talk to me 15:31, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
...or you can vote here :-) PizzaMargherita 16:02, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Why should a word be spelt the American way, simply because thats how the article was first created? WikiPedia is an international encyclopedia, not an American encyclopedia. I feel that all articles should be spelt according to International English, NOT American English.

Totally agree. I find it irritating and wrong that an encyclopedia as you rightly say covering the *whole world* should offer the American spelling. In no other countries except Canada/USA is 'color' common, let alone dominant. L1v3rp00l 17:17, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm not American, for christ's sake. It's not my fault if I see 'color' as an incorrect spelling of 'colour'. So what? Is Wikipedia discriminating against non-Americans now? Jenaisis 22:40, 1 December 2006 (UTC)


So now editing the spelling on the main article is regarded as vandalism? So just because someone has an agenda to keep American spelling in domination of this INTERNATIONAL encyclopaedia we create a special rule for vandalism. I say someone has the guts to stand up to this constant Americanisation and have Commonwealth english, the form used internationally outside of the states, made the standard requirement for all articles other than those specifically related to the USA. If anyone has a problem with this then create Ameriwikipedia and keep using all the sloppy spelling conventions made up out of thin air by Noah Webster back in the 19th century. AntonioBu 08:31, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

AntonioBu, this issue has been convered extensively (and arguably exhaustively) on this talk page as well as its archives. Please see Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English for an explanation of the spelling guidelines that Wikipedia follows. I would also like to remind you to please remain civil and not jump to conclusions of bad faith. -- Laura S | talk to me 14:27, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Or read the section right above this one. Even just the link to wikt:color. Color was the original latin spelling. The french gave us the 'u'. Blame the Normans. -Quiddity 18:50, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
If you think that the spelling on this page is not correctly following Wikipedia:Manual of Style, please say so. If you disagree with the Manual of Style, please discuss it on that article's talk page; Wikipedia is not to be used to make a point, and the participants in this page cannot set a policy contrary to Wikipedia's main policy. Thank you. Notinasnaid 13:57, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

This message copied from User_talk:Notinasnaid So wikipedia can't be used to make a point. Isn't the whole (and you'll excuse me here) 'point' of the project to provide an encyclopaedia of the highest quality possible. To provide that quality the project must continue to evolve and improve itslef. To do so there must be suggestions and debate and discussion which by the very definition of those terms involves making a point. I did not change the article itself, rather I used the correct channel of utilising the discussion page. To say using a discussion page to make a point about possible improvements to an article is a misuse of wikipedia nullifies the entire purpose of discussion. AntonioBu 04:22, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

My response was a direct reply to your quote "editing the spelling on the main article is regarded as vandalism?", not a challenge to the idea that the talk page is for discussion. I have copied your reply here because it seems the best place to respond to the specific point you raise in it. From the history of the article you will see that at regular intervals people do change the article, often in the process damaging many internal links and categories, which cannot be described as "improving", hence the description "making a point". While it is not inappropriate to discuss spelling here, I feel it is pointless, for reasons already covered. If you want to challenge the Wikipedia policy, then I recommend you do it where the policy makers are to be found. Notinasnaid 06:40, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
...or you can vote here :-) PizzaMargherita 11:13, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
The original spelling of the word is colour and that is the most widely used spelling so that is how the article should be spelt Guess who i am 05:47, 21 October 2006 (UTC)


Just wondering why an english word (colour) leads onto an american deviant spelling (color). Since the word was invented in England the page should stay in English. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

  • As opposed to what language?? Georgia guy 13:35, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I think that's a troll from one of the anti-American Lord of the Flies crew (the IP number is from the UK).
To the Englishman/-lass: 1) The word was "developed" by the Romans. 2) Both "color" and "colour" were in use in England for several centuries. Shakespeare, and many others, preferred the Latin spelling (which is the same as the American spelling). Samuel Johnson's prescriptive dictionary eliminated most of the Latin spellings. Shortly thereafter, most of the English stopped using the "color" spelling. Americans (and most in Western Canada) stuck with the Latin spelling. Wikipedia is not a medium for British imperialist ambitions. Thus both spellings are accepted here. --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-25 13:47 (UTC) P.S. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (spelling) for Wikipedia's policy on spelling.
Why does it have to mean people are 'anti-American' if they believe that a word should redirect to the way it's spelled in the majority of English-speaking countries, not just two? Nobody say's you're 'anti-British' for suggesting it shouldn't, do they? Anyway, the spelling table in the 'manual of style' shows, quite unequivocally, that, out of the seven varieties of English used, with each example, only US English spells words exclusively with the American spelling. To me this means that, with words like this, the redirect should favour the -our ending, and not the -or ending. 'British imperialist ambitions'? I don't think so. It's just common sense to have the most widely accepted and used spelling of a word. I don't see what's wrong with that. It's not to do with UK spellings being 'better'. --Stevefarrell 16:43, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Someone should condense the archives of this talk page (and those at yogurt and other places) into a big old essay that covers common arguments used for this subject. It has been stated before, and I agree, that the important thing about a language (or dialect thereof) is the number of people that speak it. Or in this case, the number of people that spell a word a certain way. The number of countries and the number of dialects is relatively unimportant. That said, of people whose first language is English, the majority spell it color. Of all English speakers (including those who use it infrequently), the majority spell it colour. Now do you suppose it would be reasonable for Wikipedia to do a survey, and find out just how much time these English-as-a-second-language speakers actually use English, and then tally up all the English-speaking hours per day per dialect, and, upon discovering that 51% of the time, the our spelling is used, and name the article accordingly? I should hope not. That would be a tremendous waste of time and effort, and people would bicker just as endlessly about the results as they do about our current policy. So we are left with the current policy which says: American English is used quite a lot, and British English is used quite a lot, and so are other dialects, and to dedicate Wikipedia to any one of them would needlessly marginalize many millions of people. Therefore, we have a nice compromise that admittedly pisses people off from time to time, but which is vastly superior to anything else yet proposed. --Yath 17:05, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I've seen these same arguments a million times in a million different places. It always comes down to the idea that using American spellings is being 'fair', whereas changing them to the British spellings would be 'a waste of time'. And when a British person says 'you should use British spellings', they're being 'imperialist' and 'anti-American', but when an American says 'you should use American spellings' they're being 'fair and impartial'. It would hurt nobody if they typed in 'Color' and found a page headed 'Colour' instead; which would be more familiar to most of the rest of the entire world. Look at the article for, say, Elevator as well. The first paragraph states, as an aside in brackets, that outside North America, an elevator is called a 'lift'. So why isn't the article titled 'lift'? Every country outside North America calls it a lift, so why isn't that the title of the article? This isn't a "compromise", most of the articles I've seen on things that have a different name in US English to the rest of the world, favour the US version of the word. But it would be tedious and pointless to move them all. I'm just saying that, for want of a better phraseology, it isn't particularly 'fair', and it certainly isn't any kind of 'compromise'. --Stevefarrell 21:32, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
The situation you describe above (using American spellings is being 'fair'... British spellings would be 'a waste of time') sounds like you were being trolled. Wikipedia's policy on this matter is not at all like that; it treats all sides of this argument equally and fairly. It is unfortunate that someone spoke to you in this way, but it is not, I am happy to report, the norm around here. --Yath 23:38, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if they meant it like that, but it was certainly implied. I think it was over at the American and British English spelling differences talk page, in the section titled 'Why haven't Britain, Australia etc. accepted American spellings?', which was only slightly more subtle trolling than the guy who went on the Liverpool F.C. forums and said "Manchester United are the best team ever, and Liverpool aren't fit to clean their boots" (this actually happened). --Stevefarrell 13:22, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia's policy basically states that in articles dealing specifically with local subjects (a town in Australia, an American baseball team, etc.), it makes sense to use that country's version of English. For most articles, however, all varieties of English are equal and can express the content equally well. Therefore, in the interest of saving time, avoiding confusion, and (ideally) being fair, we say, just stick with whatever version of English was used first in the article. It actually has nothing at all to do with imperialism or jingoism of any sort, and everything to do with practicality.
If we changed all Color related articles to Colour tomorrow, you can bet there would be a slew of complaints about "why isn't it Color? Spell it right!" - since there's no correct answer, there will always be these debates, no matter what course of action we take. It's unfortunate that we spend so much time on the spelling of one word when we could be making substantial improvements to the Wikipedia, and it's even more unfortunate that some people feel the need to do so uncivilly. -- Laura S | talk to me 14:25, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Please make note of the fact i said 'Just wondering'. A troll would force their oppinion on others, i am asking so i can understand as i am studying English language change from celtic to post industrial. If i offended anyone this was not my intentions and apologies to my foriegn freinds.

Apology accepted. Note, whoever told you American English is "deviant," and that the word color was "invented" in England has perhaps not been teaching you very well. Anyway, good luck with your studies! --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-26 21:56 (UTC)

Maybe you were taught wrong, also with cultural freedom it means to express without intent to annoy. You aimed that comment to annoy and thus breaking the cycle, just thought i would clarify.

Please let us know if any part of Manual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English is unclear. Notinasnaid 17:32, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I still think it should be changed...elevenzerooneme / what i've done / email 13:31, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

yeah, well at least we can say "yoghurt" Laconia 20:40, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Page title

Hello, ive been reading the threads and it would make more sense to call the article Color (Colour). By doing so we are showing equality. Thanks ..

I applaud striving for equality, but Wikipedia policy and guidelines don't recommend/suggest solutions of the sort you've offerred. Perhaps, though, you could bring this up at one of the policy discussion areas. (Click on Help on the left, and follow the links.) --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-26 21:58 (UTC)
I don't think that would help. The argument would simply move on to which spelling gets to be in brackets or which spelling should come first. Yay unto the Chicken 10:30, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
How about calling it Colo(u)r and pointing both Color & Colour at it? (please excuse me if someone has said this before) 00:05, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
It's unfortunate we can't just set up a mirror article, exactly the same in all but title, without redundant edits; after the two spellings are introduced in the first line it doesn't matter what you call it throughout. I can't see the wikipedia boys doing this any time soon though, as this argument is so petty. mrhappyhour 10 Oct 2006

The mirror article thing sounds good....however, one point has been missed. This is the ENGLISH Wiki. As in, the Wiki with the language of the people of the nation of England. England spells the word colour, so the name of the article should be colour Lenzar 17:36, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

The language is called English because England is where the language historically belonged to. Today, it belongs to many countries. Different countries have different versions of English, e.g. American English, British English. However, the languages are all variants of English; none of them have diverged far enough to be considered separate languages. Georgia guy 17:42, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Lenzar, this is all very jejune. I think your line of reasoning is deeply flawed. Without wishing to be more patronising than is strictly necessary here, may I suggest that you spend a little time working on your written style, instead of campaigning for such a vapid cause? You might start with re-thinking such constructions as this: As in, the Wiki... (see above); we are having an affect on the eco-system (from your own page; do you understand your error in that one?); and with incorrect/American spellings and have to lose out/pay more taxes (both from your page, and both automatically taking on the ugly construction with "/": very American!). You are young, but you will learn. – Noetica 20:16, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Well said, even if a bit more partonizing (patronising?) than strictly necessary. Dicklyon 20:19, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

The MOS has a special subsection on national varieties of English. The condensed version is that preference should be given to the original author's useage and applied consistently throughout the article. Since the original usage was "Color", we should use that in the title and article both. Doc Tropics 00:46, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

A passing comment...

Objecting that performing an operation will take too much effort is not a suitable argument... One could ask what the point is, therefore, in ensuring a lengthy article is well referenced if it will take too much 'effort' to check? Plain and simple, if it should be done, do it. Articles should be 'correct' and 'neutral', and major changes that have been agreed upon (and minor changes that do not require discussion), should be carried out, no matter how long it may take or how much work it would require.

And secondly, saying that word, in it's Latin root, is one such spelling therefore this spelling should be used is nonsense. This is the English Wikipedia, not a Latin Wikipedia... The words used in an article should come out of modern English tongues (excepting names of historical concepts or words used exclusively as illustration of these concepts - noting the spellings and grammatical form of Middle English, for example), unless quoting a completely foreign word... 'Colour' is not a completely foreign word.

(And if there exist complaints that this is a topic that has been argued to death, then evidently there must exists some points to the argument(s) that some believe have not been fully - or correctly - discussed and acted upon...) --Mister Macbeth 00:24, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

It's unclear what your comment applies to. I find no reference to "too much effort"; just "waste of effort" and "not worht any more effort", which have a completely different meaning. Anyway, if you're trying to express an opinion on the spelling issue, that seems pointless (waste of effort) here, since there's already an accepted policy that we follow here. Dicklyon 01:51, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Not so much on the spelling issue (I am, at the moment, somewhat impartial on this case): I am trying to express an opinion on how it was argued... When you say, "there's already an accepted policy that we follow here", I don't quite follow. If you are referring to the argument about this page's name, then clearly how this policy interpreted and implemented is being disputed (the nature of the entire argument).

What I would also like to add is that clearly the points that are being raised must be addressed, and whatever remarks to these points that constitute the current situation made easily available to users who would argue for them (so they are aware they have been argued and can read whatever counter point existed, and possibly offer a rebuttal to that)...

Reading several rejections based on a "waste of time" indicated to me that the proposed course(s) of action were considered by some to be unacceptable in their ratio of effort to product (if you will excuse the crude explanation), what I was trying to say was that whether or not an improvement is economic, the entire point of Wikipedia is to be constantly refining and improving the articles... Cost of time shouldn't be a consideration. Wikipedia does have the manpower of nearly three million users (of course, I do not mean to imply that we can or should expect these to work together, and not in the slightest against each other, in a near-simultaneous fashion on a single article; not for a moment - what I mean is that the quality of Wikipedia's articles should in no way be compromised obstacles such as 'whether we can be bothered or not'). --Mister Macbeth 02:52, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Missing diagram

The text in "Measurement and reproduction of color" says "...where the chromaticity diagram above has a nearly straight edge" but there's no diagram on the page. There is a link to

I added the missing cie xy diagram. Dicklyon 22:24, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikiproject Color

I'm looking to start up Wikipedia:WikiProject_Color again. It seems to have been dormant for a while, even though there was a lot of great work and discussion already done. Anyone care to join me? --Laura S 01:30, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Help needed

I've just uploaded some examples of Ishihara colour tests at Talk:Ishihara color test. If a few people with normal colour vision can confirm that the number "2" is visible in both images, then I'll add them to the article. Alternatively, let me know if you have any suggestions for improving these images. Sorry if I'm getting a bit off-topic, but this seemed like a good place to ask. -- Sakurambo 15:05, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Do you think they would be better in color vision? As that is the "main" article this shouldn't have more detail than that. Notinasnaid 16:35, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
I was intending to add them to Ishihara color test, since that's what I'm trying to reproduce. I'm only asking here because the Ishihara color test talk page has been fairly quiet recently. -- Sakurambo 21:40, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Ok, sorry, I misunderstood. Personally I find the right image "easy" and the left image "difficult but possible", if that helps. Notinasnaid 08:16, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
That's OK :-) I've uploaded a new image that is hopefully a bit less difficult. Please take a look if you have a spare moment. Thanks for all your help.
(I'll stop posting here now.) -- Sakurambo 10:10, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Does Anyone Know

Does anyone know where the names of colours originated from and why? I'm doing a research project on the query, but if anyone does know it'd be much appreciated. Thanks. --Liddia Tyke June 2nd, 2006

Knowledge questions should be directed to Wikipedia:Reference desk; the article "discussion" pages are just for discussing article contents/creation. (The Color names article might have some of what you're looking for too.) Thanks :) -Quiddity 01:42, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Red - I think red comes from the Old English term for red.

Orange is believed to come from the fruit, which in turn I believe is from Arabic

Yellow is believed to come from a term related to colors in general.

Green must come from some word relating to grass growing.

Cyan; I believe, is from Greek, meaning "blue".

Blue - I think blue is from Old French.

Violet comes from a flower. - Georgia guy 18:58, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

try --Quiddity 19:00, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
. I don't know about the names of other colors but in case of orange i am sure that the name of the fruit was taken from the name of the color and not vice-versa. 06:55, 15 September 2006 (UTC) (True Dragonball)
No, the colour orange is named after the fruit. --Zundark 10:19, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Inline Citations

This article has no inline citations. I've been trying to find some, and so far, have had a lot of trouble. For claims like the wavelengths of the "human visible spectrum", I've found several sources that all disagree with each other and with the article. I'm tempted to pick one that seems "average", change the article to that, and cite it, but if someone could cite the original claim that would be better. Then there are statements like "low-intensity orange-yellow is brown", which seems to make sense, but it would be really nice if we could source it. Does anyone (especially those who contributed to this article) have references for some of the specific claims in this article? -- Laura S | talk to me 18:07, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

420 nm, 564 nm, 534 nm

As someone who has often wondered why the spectrum was divided into red, green and blue, as primary colours, I was curious to see which colours our eyes actually pick up.

The part of the article beginning 'The retina contains three types of color receptor cells, or cones.' expresses the colours as numbers on the nanometer, and also provides vague descriptions like yellowish-green.

I was thinking, it would be a good idea to actually show these colours as colours. Obviously, due to varying monitor technology, and screen properties, these colours wouldn't be displayed exactly by every monitor (or possibly any), but, an approximate physical representation of the colours would be useful.--Jcvamp 02:52, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

It would look approximately like this (colors taken from the spectrum image):
420 nm 534 nm 564 nm
By the way, the spectrum image is a quite faithful reproduction of the spectrum, but it is essential that the background is not a pure black, because you actually need negative RGB values to produce colors outside the gamut of a computer screen. This is achieved by substracting them from the background color. One could calculate the color stimulus for the response spectra rather than just for the peak wavelength, but I don't feel like doing that. Han-Kwang 8:57, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Nice work, Hankwang. It seems to me (as it seems to you, I think) that the idea is a bit tricky to implement in a stable and reliable way. I'd vote for not doing it. Nice thought, though, Jvcamp! By the way, it isn't that the colours are expressed as numbers on the nanometer. Rather, a nanometre (shown as "nm"; and it's nanometer only in American) is just a very small unit of length: one billionth of a metre. Remember too that the wavelengths we're talking about here are just those to which the three types of cones are maximally sensitive. That's a different matter from the concern that you raise in introducing your suggestion. It's all a bit tricky! This sort of thing has confused even some specialists in the theory of colour, and led to them writing quite misleadingly, here and there. Noetica 13:02, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm not too worried about the reproduction issue. I was somewhat involved in the design of the spectrum images and I think it is reliable enough. I mainly think it would give rise to too much confusion. For instance, I don't think that filters with such colors would do very well for RGB-oriented cameras. Han-Kwang 14:40, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Fine, Han-Kwang. I agree that the move is likely to generate rather than lessen confusion. Noetica 23:08, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
It was just a thought. Also, I understand that they are just the max values. I'm easily led by curiosity. It kind of makes you wonder how the world would appear if our eyes picked up a different distribution of colours.--Jcvamp 01:57, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it's NOT a good idea to actually show these "colours" as colours. The spectral sensitivity curve of a cone cell should not be thought of as a colour. I think the attempt above to display colors that would match a light source whose spectrum matches the cone sensitivity is a good illustration of how little it tells you about color. Dicklyon 01:40, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Links in Physics of color

Mistersheik, you removed a link; and I restored it. Sorry for wrongly saying in my edit summary that you were anonymous, which was a careless error on my part. But you did not explain your edit, and I think it would have been better to do so. Why a link to Phosphor? Because the paragraph is specifically about objects that "emit light that they generate themselves", and phosphors are a major genus of objects that do that. In fact, they cover a good number of those that emit light "for other reasons", as the text says immediately before the link in question. (Why have this link rather than one to Phosphorescence? I see little reason to prefer one rather than the other. But since you like it better, I'll now change it to that.) Anyway, it is reasonable after such a link to link also to List of light sources, because that moves from the specific that had just been treated to something more general, rounding off the discussion of emission of light. – Noetica 10:39, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

No problem Noetica, and thanks for your comment. Sometimes I don't comment my smaller edits, but I'll be sure to detail my changes to the colour article from now on. I thought phosphorescence made more sense given that we are already linking to chemoluminescence and incandescence. Phosphor is just a substance that exhibits phosphorescence, so I think it would go better with things like light bulb and lucigenin.
Regarding my current edit, I tried to make the sentences shorter and to use the active voice. I also removed "experiments have shown"; presumably, everything in the article can be shown by experiments unless noted? Ciao.. MisterSheik 10:52, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Color is a property of light ?!?

Sorry, as a color scientist I'm left cold by this opening. Color is a perceptual phenomenon, not a physical phenomenon. This opening will be hard to recover from, but I'll read some more... Dicklyon 00:43, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, Dicklyon, the very next paragraph continues like this: The term color may also refer to a property of objects or materials, determined by which wavelengths of light they reflect, transmit, or emit. Typically, only features of the composition of light that are detectable by humans are included, so color may also be considered a psychological phenomenon. Regimenting these various uses of the term is a major task in current philosophy. Given that no single writer is reponsible for the text here, it is remarkable that the initial definition of the term color is managed so well, I'd say – especially given the fact that it is so deeply controversial. I suppose it would be possible to signal that controversy even earlier, but that would risk alienating a large number of readers. Better, perhaps, that a few of us should be "left cold", and unsatisfied with what must inevitably be judged imperfect by some expert or other! Still, improvements are always worth trying out. Your suggestion? I myself think things could be worded better; but I'm happy enough with that lead-in. – Noetica 11:40, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it should open with a more broadly accepted view of what color is. Wavelength is the most incorrect, spectrum of light is a narrow physical view; properties of perception and of artistic materials are what the science and art camps take it to mean, so those in the paragraph 2 should replace what's in paragraph 1. Dicklyon 14:31, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Something like this:
  • Color is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, white, etc. Color derives from the spectrum of light in the eye interacting with the spectral sensitivity of the light receptors (cones). Color categories and physical quantifications are also associated with objects, materials, light sources, etc., based on their physical properties such as absorption, reflection, or emission spectra.
For reference, here are some definitions from which we might want to pick the relevant ones and synthesize our lead: [1]
Dicklyon 17:28, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly, google search for "define:color" finds this one from presumably an old wikipedia page:
  • "Color (American English) or colour (Commonwealth English) is a sensation which (in humans) derives from the ability of the fine structure of the eye to distinguish three differently filtered analyses of a view. The perception of color is influenced by long-term history (nurture) of the observer and also by short-term effects such as the colors nearby. The term color is also used for the property of objects or light sources that can be distinguished by differences in the receptors of the eye."
This is at least correct. But when I search the history, I don't find it. Everything seems to focus on light and wavelength, which are popular but really incorrect and non-useful conceptions of what color is. Dicklyon 18:56, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Found it

User:WAS changed the opening on 21 Aug 05 [diff] to

  • "Color or colour is the perception of the frequency (or wavelengh) of light, just as pitch (or a musical note) is the perception of the frequency (or wavelengh) of a sound."

which started the improper focus on wavelength, even though it kept for the time the notion of perception. It also introduces the non-useful analogy of pitch (a one-dimensional percept) for color (a 2D or 3D concept that is more commonly associated with a sound's timbre).

Dicklyon 19:11, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for lead, with POLL

I recommend we write a new lead to focus on color as perception, and to include right up front the application of color to objects, materials, and lights or something like that, and to remove or de-emphasize the one-dimensional wavelength or frequency view. Please respond here with "*Support" or "*Oppose" followed optionally by a comment and ~~~~, like this:

  • Support, of course, since it was my idea. Dicklyon 19:17, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. My research into synesthesia demonstrates that color experiences can be evoked in the absence of normal wavelength stimuli... Philosophers are still arguing over what this means, but I think that it implies color is first and foremost a psychological experience, not a set of wavelengths. Edhubbard 22:23, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. But let it be done with a respect for the pluralism that is inseparable from any robust and defensible definition of colour, given the history and multidimensionality of the concept. There is no single uncontroversially correct line on what colour is best taken to be; edit as we will, we cannot alter that fact. – Noetica 03:57, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree, and welcome your comments on the first attempt that I have made. If I'm too narrow there, say so. Dicklyon 04:02, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Comments on Dicklyon's proposed lead

Thanks for your proposed rewriting, Dicklyon (see immediately above), and for your suggestion that I comment on what you have edited into the article itself. I'll do that commenting now, bearing in mind that some of what follows is "legacy" material that you have retained, and I comment on that as if you endorse it also:

Color or colour (see spelling differences) is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, white, etc. Color derives from the spectrum of light interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors. Color categories and physical quantifications of color are also associated with objects, materials, light sources, etc., based on their physical properties such as light absorption, reflection, or emission spectra.
  • Colour is a "perceptual property", you say. But every property, by definition, has to be a property of something. So of what is colour a property? You don't say. What would you say? Note that colour can't literally be a property of perception, which is after all too abstract an affair to support properties like yellow or red, which it would have to do if it were to support the superordinate property colour.
  • Red, yellow, white, etc. are fairly uncontroversially colours; but are they categories, in any sense that is relevant and non-distracting, in the present context? Perhaps it would be better to say: ...including, in the case of humans, red, yellow, white, etc. But then, the text preceding this would have to be adjusted also.
  • I think there are problems with this sentence: "Color derives from the spectrum of light interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors." Spectrum has not yet been defined for the reader; and it is not certain that the term is canonically used here anyway. Sure, we speak of the spectrum of light emitted by some source, but this is not to use spectrum in the way it will be introduced later in the article, in visible spectrum. In this more standard sense, a spectrum is a range, is it not? Nor is spectral sensitivity yet defined for the reader; nor is it true that the wavelength characteristics of the light and the sensitivities of the light receptors alone determine the colour that is experienced.
  • I am not happy with physical quantifications, here. For a start, quantification is an ambiguous term, used differently in physics and philosophy, both relevant disciplines for this topic. And then, even if we take the term as it is understood in physics, it is not embracing enough for what we need to say. We need something broader: more like physical characteristics, or physical specification.
Typically, only features of the composition of light that are detectable by humans (wavelength spectrum from 400 nm to 700 nm, roughly) are included, thereby objectively relating the psychological phenomenon of color to its physical quantification [altered from "quantifiation"].
  • I have the same reservations about quantification here as I have expressed above.
Since perception of color stems from the varying sensitivity of different types of cone cells in the retina to different parts of the spectrum, colors may be defined and quantified by the degree to which they stimulate these cells. These physical or physiological quantifications of color, however, do not fully explain the psychophysical perception of color appearance.
  • Note how you yourself have now twice used spectrum in the "range" sense that I discuss above.
  • We know the story (well, many us here do, anyway) about the different sensitivities of the types of cones to light of different wavelengths; but the way you put things here may leave some readers mystified.
  • I like the last sentence in this paragraph, but again I worry about quantification.
The science of color is sometimes called chromatics. It includes the perception of color by the human eye and brain, the origin of color in materials, color theory in art, and the physics of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range (that is, what we commonly refer to simply as light). As a perceptual phenomenon, color is loosely analogous to timbre in audition, though the mechanisms of sound perception are very different.
  • We might need to distinguish sensation and perception, along classical lines (and do this consistently later in the article also).
  • You have substituted talk of timbre for talk of pitch, in making the analogy with hearing. I understand why you would want to do this; and discourse concerning "colour" in music would seem to support it. But I advise against that change. It is at best loose and metaphorical; and any appeal to it does little to promote insight into the bases of colour, or the mechanisms of colour sensation and perception. I also understand why you might disapprove of associating colour with pitch. But the fact remains that there is a loose isomorphism, going something like this: Light varies in frequency; and differences in perceived colour are associated with differences in frequency. Sound varies in frequency; and differences in (perceived) pitch are associated with differences in frequency. Pitch is more fundamental and simple than timbre, which itself stands in a complex relation to pitch (and therefore to frequency). The pitch-colour link is therefore tighter and more instructive than the timbre-colour link; so I would keep the pitch-colour link, with the proviso that we retain something this also: but the mechanisms of pitch perception and colour perception are structurally very different.
Anyway, that's how I view things. I think we can improve on what was there, and on what is there now. But it isn't as easy as it looks! – Noetica 06:18, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Noetica, thanks for those in-depth comments. I look forward to working with you and others on finding the sorts of improvements you suggest. I think improving it is easy, but making it as good as possible, and accessible, and achieving consensus is going to take a lot of work. Sorry about the spelling.
As to the loose isomorphism with pitch, no, I object strongly; any such link is counter-instructive. The idea that light varying in frequency can organize color along an axis the way pitch organizes sound along an axis is just wrong. Sound has much more than a pitch, and the more is called timbre (in Germn, Klangfarb, tone color). I think we would be way better off just omitting the sound analogy altogether; it would look too contradictory for the timbre article to refer to color as a model and then have color vector back to pitch. I say this as a person who has more than a decade of experience in each color science and hearing science—perhaps I know too much. Dicklyon 06:33, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Good, Dicklyon. I'm sure you have much to offer here. As for the contested analogies, I understand and also have reservations about pitch–colour, but I had considered it potentially useful if handled with care. After all, the thought occurs naturally to many people anyway; so if it were dealt with well here, with proper correctives, we would be performing a service. (If you think there is no analogy between pitch and colour, I disagree! There is just not the strong analogy that many people too readily assume.) Of course sound has more than pitch; so does light have more than colour. But whatever sound has for us is reducible, in some respectable sense, to frequency and amplitude varying in time. The same can be said of light! As far as I'm concerned, the major relevant difference to observe between hearing and sight is the structure of the sensory and perceptual mechanisms involved. There is a ("monocular") visual field, for example, with a structure not similar to any ("monaural") auditory field. In any case, if we disagree about the "pedagogic" and logical–structural details here, that would indeed be evidence that audition is best left out of it. OK, let's see what others think. There is clearly more that we'll need to do. I look forward to it also. – Noetica 13:29, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Lacking anyone else jumping in, I made a few minor edits in some of the directions you sugggested. Dicklyon 01:56, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Percieved or perceptual

Color or colour (see spelling differences) is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, white, etc.

I would suggest that colour is a percieved property of an object or of light (or of a grapheme or hallucination) rather than it being a "perceptual property". Reading the talk I see that I am not the only person who does not understand what a "perceptual property" is or what exactly it is a property of. In general and technical usage people talk about an object or some light being "blue" or "red" or whatever, they talk about the colour of an object (as they percieve it) rather than the colour of their perception (an interesting but very different concept).

People percieve colour differently and this needs to be reflected in the introduction but colour is still a property of something as it is percieved by an individual. Even grapheme->colour synaesthetes (at least those that I have met or read) talk about colours as being a property of the words or letters while being fully aware that other people don't percieve this property.

My suggestion for the first two sentences is:

Color or colour (see spelling differences) is a percieved property of an object or of light, usually loosely related to the physical properties of light entering the eye. Color derives from light interacting in the eye with light receptors that respond differently to different wavelenghths of light.

I think this is clearer because it has most of the concepts of the previous version but avoids jargon like "spectrum". I personally would remove "loosely" from what I have written because "related" already implies that the link is not precisely defined but I'm trying to keep everyone happy.

Suggestions? Threetwoone 02:31, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I would remove "usually loosely" and just say it's "related". To me, spectrum is not "jargon". It is perhaps too technical for general readers though, so you guys can decide. Dicklyon 02:39, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Philosophical ruminations

Yes, I referred to

(But this is philosophically disputable. Since red or green mirrors exist, 
for example, why should we deny that standard mirrors are white?)

as "parenthetical philosophical ruminations" when I removed it. It would have been more politic to say unencyclopedic and unverifiable, along with parenthetical. If there's something to say, say it, not in parentheses. But if it's going to be about the idea of a mirror being called white, I think I'll need to see a verifiable source for it. I'm going to take it out again for now, and hope it will come back in better shape if there's something to say. Dicklyon 22:38, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree. --Quiddity 23:24, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
If it's the artifice of parentheses that you disapprove of, remove parentheses; if it is the enclosed content, remove the whole thing. Clarity is important! But why is the content to be thought any less "encyclopedic and unverifiable" than what precedes it ("Objects that reflect light of all wavelengths equally well (like standard mirrors) perhaps cannot be said to have any color")? That is conjectural, philosophical, and unsourced. It simply reports a philosophical opinion, without any stated source. In the interests of consistency, I am now removing it too. If anyone wants to restore it, let them show why it should be restored, but what had followed it removed: "(But this is philosophically disputable. Since red or green mirrors exist, for example, why should we deny that standard mirrors are white?)". (O, and let them provide a citation!) – Noetica 00:17, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I can see why you would go further with the removal, and I don't object. But there is something to be said here about white versus colorless. Here's an example source in case anyone wants to try to summarize it (or others): [2] Dicklyon 01:30, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Shift in colour terms in english

The colour names used by Newton when he described the visible spectrum are different from what we use now.

blue-indigo-violet has become cyan-blue- violet

Newton's blue was different to ours. Does anybody know when this happened? Is it worth mentioning? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

This is interesting. Do you have a reference? Notinasnaid 07:34, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Umm, its just an observation that newton's ROYGBIV spectrum is different to ROYGCBV which is how I see the spectrum and how it is described in wikipedia. I have read (I think in a book called "the last sorceror" about newton's alchemical investigations) a theory that there is no obvious colour between blue and violet so they speculated that newton included indigo just to make the list up to seven colours for mystical reasons. There is a colour between green and blue and that colour is technically called cyan but I think most people would call it blue in a non-technical context so there are, in a sense, two blues in the spectrum. It is my own suggestion that newton was distinguishing between these same two colours and he called them blue and indigo.

ROYGBIV is still the most common description of the spectrum but I think it is just copying Newton's terms and doesn't actually match what most people see (what do you see?). I was hoping someone might know a bit more and fill in the details.

According to the the oxford dictionary the word "cyan" dates from the 19 century. Its predecessors (according to WP) aqua and aquamarine date from the 1930's and the early 18th C. According to WP (cyan) before aqua there was only blue-green so perhaps Newton had no options between blue and green. And after all the sky is called blue and it is closer to cyan than a pure blue.

There are two words for blue in Russian, does anyone know if their light blue appears in the spectrum (if so it must be between blue and green not between blue and white). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Spectrum with vs. without indigo

Indigo was added recently. I want to know if anyone can come up with a consensus on whether the spectrum near the top of the article should include/exclude indigo. Any comments?? Georgia guy 14:28, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

A quick GBS turns up several books that peg indigo at 420-440, and several that omit it, putting the boundary between violet and blue anywhere from 425 to 440. I'm torn. It's more physical, perceptual, and sensible without indigo, but it aligns better with conventional rainbow terminology with it. Personally, though, my opinion is revert indigo, as it's just misleading numerology in tribute to Newton. Dicklyon 16:21, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, when I wrote that I was thinking of the rainbow article. There's really no good excuse to include indigo in the color article. Dicklyon 16:22, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
So, I took it out and put in a comment about indigo instead. This should help provoke some comments here if anyone objects. Dicklyon 17:18, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

A better suggestion to clear up the colour/color problem

Now, I understand that this has been discussed to death and a solution has already been decided - Color instead of Colour. However, I'm sure that I'm not the only one who would prefer to see a word spelt as it is in their language. I am from the UK and thus I strongly appraise the term 'colour' as opposed to 'color'. Having said that, I understand that americans would strongly appraise 'color' as opposed to 'colour'. So, why not have some sort of preference of English (I.e. American English or UK English). I don't know, perhaps as a feature for a username, or something. And depending on which preference, the article(s) they read will be displayed in accordance to their preference. It may be a big update to cater for what some might think as a small problem, but I disagree. The spelling of something is extremely important in my opinion and I should be able to read an encyclopedia in my language, and not in someone elses. Regardless of the history of the term 'color', it still doesn't mean that the american spelling must be adopted. Gregh 19:13, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Hi Gregh, In fact there has been a proposal like that made, and discussed to death. See the proposal here. It seemed to me like a good proposal, but I get the feeling that it might never move forward. I am an American, but often publish in British scientific journals, and so have learned not to be too hung up on one or the other spelling. I probably would leave my setting on random if such a thing existed. Edhubbard 19:20, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Whoa, I didn't think I would be that unoriginal. Thanks for pointing me to it though, it's a huge discussion. Gregh 20:14, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

The lead paragraphs

I have just made a few small changes in the article, including a link for light in the lead. (I was wrong to say in my edit summary that it was the first occurrence of the word as a noun; I meant it was the first as a noun that was not already part of a link.) I am concerned, as I was earlier, with some material in the lead. Here it is, as it now stands, with some interpolated comments:

Color or colour (see spelling differences) is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, white, etc.

OK, it may be that must have recourse to examples (red, yellow, etc.). (It looks and feels like a bit of a cop-out! It does communicate. But who, reading it, would not know it already?) What worries me is this perceptual property. A while ago I asked what this means, precisely. I still have no answer. It looks and feels scientific and meaningful. But is that enough? If we say that colour is a perceptual property, of what are we saying it is a property, exactly?

Color derives from the spectrum of light (distribution of light energy versus wavelength) interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors. Color categories and physical specifications of color are also associated with objects, materials, light sources, etc., based on their physical properties such as light absorption, reflection, or emission spectra.

The reader is plunged from the lucidity of "red, yellow, white, etc." to the obscurity of "distribution of light energy versus wavelength". This is not useful to most readers, I suggest.

Typically, only features of the composition of light that are detectable by humans (wavelength spectrum from 400 nm to 700 nm, roughly) are included, thereby objectively relating the psychological phenomenon of color to its physical specification.

Try this: "Only light that is detectable by humans generates color experience as we know it, so we normally attempt to map colors onto the visible spectrum (wavelengths from 400 nm to 700 nm, roughly), to show the connection between color experience and physical properties of light." Is that what's meant? If not, how not? What does the existing version mean? We might add: "But some colors ([link here to non-spectral colors, which so far are not explicitly dealt with in the article, nor anywhere at all in Wikipedia, though they should be]) cannot be mapped onto the visible spectrum."

Since perception of color stems from the varying sensitivity of different types of cone cells in the retina to different parts of the spectrum, colors may be defined and quantified by the degree to which they stimulate these cells. These physical or physiological quantifications of color, however, do not fully explain the psychophysical perception of color appearance.

More accurately and lucidly: " light of different wavelengths, the color associated with any incoming light may be defined and quantified by the degree to which it stimulates these cells." I still don't like quantified, though. Also, there are unhelpful redundancies in the next sentence (omit without loss psychophysical and appearance, for example). Try this instead: "But these responses of the cone cells do not fully account for our experience of color."

The science of color is sometimes called chromatics. It includes the perception of color by the human eye and brain, the origin of color in materials, color theory in art, and the physics of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range (that is, what we commonly refer to simply as light).

This is OK, I think.

Anyway, I'll see if there is any response to what I have written here. Then perhaps after a while I'll have a go at rewriting some parts of the lead paragraphs. – Noetica 23:00, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Noetica, I'm sympathetic to the problem you're addressing. I think the way to attack it is to look at some books on color and see how they approach it. I'd be careful with the idea of mapping colors to wavelengths, since that's a rather late and narrow idea, and not applicable to all colors. It's obviously important to bring up wavelength in the physical explanation of color, but not in the introduction to what color is; the concept predates the physics by a very long time, and the physics only confuses most readers (and writers, in many cases) on color. Dicklyon 23:18, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
You can get an idea of some definitions by googling for "define:color". Like this first one: "a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect"; attribute of what? of "things" which could be of light, of objects, of paints, of surfaces, or liquids, of pigments, etc. Dicklyon 23:23, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd be happy to leave talk of wavelengths out of the lead altogether. But if it must be there, let it be clear and not misleading. (I think most editors would disagree with us, alas.) It would be good to maintain a rigorous distinction between colour experience itself and the physical and physiological bases of colour experience, I say. Note carefully my points about non-spectral colours, by the way; from your comments I'm not sure that you take these points into account. – Noetica 23:31, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
We don't have to imagine what other editors will think; let them wiegh in. As to your point on non-spectral colors, yes, I took that into account, and it's a good reason why recourse to wavelength is often either incorrect or incomplete or too complicated. I agree with maintaining a distinction; whether that distinction fits into the lead, I'm not sure. For an article on color, connecting the sensation to the physics has to be a pretty important part, somewhere near the front, but not necessarily in the lead. I wrote the current lead, but I'm not about to defend it if you can come up with something better. Again, I suggest consulting some books first. Dicklyon 23:48, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
Very well, Dicklyon. I admire your expertise. Just two remarks: First, a casual reader might have the impression that you are suggesting I have not consulted any books. I'm confident that you don't want to give that impression, but I do ask you to be cautious. Second, yes: I recall that you wrote much of the lead material. Might I suggest, therefore, that you respond to the specific difficulties that I raise? (Example: What worries me is this perceptual property. A while ago I asked what this means, precisely. I still have no answer. It looks and feels scientific and meaningful. But is that enough? If we say that colour is a perceptual property, of what are we saying it is a property, exactly?) That way we can work more collegially to improve the article. – Noetica 01:31, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I had no idea whether you'd consulted books, since you hadn't said. Now I know. The intended meaning of what I wrote seems clear to me, but perhaps that's just because I wrote it. "Perceptual" means based on the human observer, as opposed to objective or physical. "visual perceptual property of what" is intentionally left open, since it can be anything visible; light can have a color, if it shines on something that makes it visible; objects, surfaces, paints, pigments, liquids, reflections, etc. can have color. It's tough to pin down exactly what the concept of color can apply to, so I didn't try. Feel free to try. Dicklyon 01:54, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
If you look back at August, before my lead rewrite, color was a "property of light that is determined by its wavelength" and "The term color may also refer to a property of objects or materials, determined by which wavelengths of light they reflect, transmit, or emit." These bugged me on several counts: the primary reference to light as what color refers to (which is a relatively modern concept, from Newton); and the over-reliance on wavelength (an even newer physical concept that's even harder to relate to what people know as the sensation of color); and the notion of "which" wavelengths as if the spectrum in binary-valued: a wavelength being either in the set or not in the set. It makes more sense to say that the spectrum of light mediates the sensation of color, but you need to work up to that gently, to not lose all your readers in the lead. Most of my books on color are at work; I'll let you know if I find any good lead material; most are too technical. Dicklyon 02:13, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
OK, your second last post helps us to clarify a crucial difficulty. Let me see if I've got this right. First, for you, perceptual means more or less the same as subjective, right? This interpretation is not to be taken for granted; nor is the characterisation of colours as subjective. Second, colours are real properties of some features (objects, surfaces, etc.) of the observed world, right? This is not trivial either, of course. An alternative view is that colours per se are entirely subjective, and are in a way only properties of our experience of the world, not of anything out there in the world. Now, it not possible to deal with all of the philosophical niceties arising out of such positions: in a definition, or even in the whole of a general and scientific article on colour. But you seem to want to say what amounts to this: Color is a subjective property of features of the objective, external world. That's taking a philosophical position, and it's not clear that it's a coherent one. Perhaps we could avoid taking a philosophical stance in the lead paragraphs at all. Try this: Color is a property attributed to objects, surfaces, reflections, etc., in virtue of our visual experience of the world. Now, do you agree that this is true? (It leaves open whether the attribution is veridical, note.) If you disagree, why do you disagree? I certainly agree with you that it's tough to pin all of this down! So I advocate pinning at those points at which we have a consensual meaning in mind, and not at those points where our pinning down is incoherent, obscure, or philosophically opinionated. (But I am not making the claim that you do any of those things.)
I don't mean to claim that color is ONLY perceptual, subjective, or whatever. But attempts to make a "veridical" or "objective" physical correlate or quantification of color have been only partially subjective or correct. Nor is color always a constant property of an object, surface, or pigment; an object's color can change based on viewing direction, lighting direction, lighting spectrum, surrounding visual context, etc. Your proposed lead sentence is OK as far as it goes, but it doesn't give a good clue what property you mean; that's why I threw in the example category names in mine. Dicklyon 02:38, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
As for your last post [but not the interpolated one immediately above –Noetica], yes: I recall how that definition stood, when you came on the scene. It, like the present version, was not completely satisfactory. Can there be a definition that satisfies everyone, and all needs? I doubt it. Anyway, I too am away from my books for a few days, so I can't do my best work on this right now. I agree that we have to work progressively and gently, for the sake of readers. – Noetica 02:28, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I expect we'll come up with something better. Thanks for your efforts. Be bold. Dicklyon 02:38, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
This is a good summary of the diversity of philosophical stances, I think:
Despite much thought, over thousands of years, by philosophers and scientists, however, we seem little closer now to an agreed account of color than we ever were. The disagreement is reflected in the fact that some theorists believe colors to be perceiver-relative, e.g., dispositions or powers to induce experiences of a certain kind, or to appear in certain ways to observers of a certain kind. Others take them to be objective, physical properties of objects. Among the latter group, some take these properties to be physical microstructures, while others regard colors as sui generis irreducible properties of physical bodies, and yet others take them to be dispositional properties to affect light. Finally, there are even some who deny that there are colors in the world at all: there are none of the colors, it is claimed, that we naturally and normally and unreflectingly attribute to objects. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry (listed as an external source in the article)
I think that we should avoid coming down in favour of any of these stances; and, even more, of drawing together parts of them into a gruesome and incoherent composite. (Yes, let's be bold. But not in that way.) – Noetica 02:43, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
You'll get no argument from me, to whom philosophy is so much BS. I can deal with the color physics, physiology, psychology, history, or whatever, but not the philosophy. Dicklyon 03:21, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


I think it would be justified to make a poll showing both colour and color and if people want the english spelling or the latin spelling present as the title on the page.

Please let us know if any part of Manual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English is unclear. Notinasnaid 14:32, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Both spellings are variants of English, Latin is just a different language. Georgia guy 14:43, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Let's do something useful instead. Look, I spell it "colour" everywhere else, but "color" when I edit here, since the page has that spelling established in it. Both are accepted English spellings, one is also a Latin spelling. Live with it, and move on. The topic warrants no futher discussion or expenditure of effort. – Noetica 22:07, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree with someone setting up the poll for colour vs colors

A poll would serve no purpose; we are already following wikipedia policy. Dicklyon 23:02, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Agreed that a poll is pointless, and there are no grounds for it. The article follows WP:MOS exactly, and polls don't override established policy. Doc Tropics 00:59, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Color effects on emotion

I'm looking for info on the effects of color to emotions or avctions to one who is wearing clothes of that color (e.g. orange provoking hostility, light blue provoking clamness, etc.) Where would this page be?Chwoka

Move to Colour

This is an international encyclopedia, therefore international English will be used. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ABCDER (talkcontribs) 18:59, 7 December 2006 (UTC).

Please review extensive talkpage discussions on this topic. The current version is supported by wikipedia policy and editor consenus. Thanks. Doc Tropics 19:02, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Also please note that there's no such thing as "International English". WorldWide Update 21:13, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. Anyone who uses the term "International English" doesn't understand English (what it has become over the last 50-60 years). --Truth About Spelling 16:42, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Let's not go round in circles on this any more. Although I am British, I am not worried by seeing the word colour spelt as color.--Ianmacm 19:50, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I am profoundly offended by your blatant misuse of the word "spelt". All civilized people (ie, Americans) know that the only proper spelling is "spelled". I demand that you immediately refactor your comments accordingly, then turn yourself in at ANI to be perma-blocked. : ) Doc Tropics 19:59, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Why is this article headed "color" it is an incorrect spelling and should be changed to the proper spelling ie. "colour" Laconia 20:32, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

A better picture to illustrate this subject


The picture at the top of this article looks like it was made in about 2 minutes by someone noodling around in Photoshop. Commons has plenty of colourful pictures that are far less revolting. Here are a few examples:

Personally I'd go with the Fighting Temeraire or the August Macke painting. What does everyone else think? -- Sakurambo 桜ん坊 02:58, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm not keen on the one we have either. But these others also don't do it for me. They are colorful, but not really representative of color per se, it seems to me. Dicklyon 05:07, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Color is an important part of the visual arts.

How about this [3] which appears on the German language version of the Wikipedia article Color at [4]. It is GNU copyright free and would look quite good vertically like this. --Ianmacm 09:48, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

My view is that pictures should serve a purpose in the text. Pictures that serve no purpose other than decoration do not belong, in my view, and that would apply to all of the suggestions. On the other hand, can anyone say what purpose the current picture serves? There is a popular view that every article needs illustrations, but I do not share this. Notinasnaid 09:55, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I LIKE that pencils picture. Color is the only thing that distinguishes the items in the picture from each other. And I DO think that articles need illustrations. Dicklyon 16:22, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I like the pencils picture too. On the subject of whether the article should have illustrations, Lewis Carroll observed "What is the use of a book without pictures or conversation?" Everyone can come along and edit Wikipedia and disagree with other users, so for the time being I have changed the introductory image to the coloured pencils. Hopefully no edit wars over this decision.--Ianmacm 18:15, 12 December 2006 (UTC)