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This article is written in American English (labor, traveled, realize, airplane) and it uses the variant spelling grey, which is an accepted spelling in all varieties of English. According to Wikipedia's Manual of Style guidelines and general consensus it should remain that way. Further debates on this matter serve little toward improving Wikipedia.

Grey in human culture[edit]

  • Grey symbolizes mediocrity, the background noise.
    • A "grey person" is someone who goes unnoticed, a wallflower.
  • In a moral sense gray is either used
    • pejoratively to describe situations that have no clear moral value, or
    • positively to balance an all-black or all-white view (for example, shades of gray = magnitudes of good/bad)
  • Urban camouflage is composed of patches of shades of grey, while woodland camouflage uses ranges of brown and green.
  • Whilst the hair actually becomes white as one ages, it is often misinterpreted as grey (white next to others colors looking comparatively darker), and hence grey is associated with the elderly, and has inspired the name of the Gray Panthers and expressions such as Grey pound.
  • The substance that composes the brain is referred to as "grey matter", and for that reason the color is associated with things intellectual.
  • In religion, grey is the color of ashes, and therefore a biblical symbol of mourning and repentance. It can be used during Lent or on special days of fasting and prayer.
  • Grey was the color of the Confederate Army uniforms in the American Civil War.
  • The "Grey Lady" is the nickname of the New York Times
  • Feldgrau (field grey) was a common colour of Wehrmacht uniforms.
  • Tiny grey aliens, with large, tear-shaped black eyes are referred to as "little greys" in popular UFO conspiracy theories and in science-fiction.
  • The color grey represents pessimism whereas its opposite, optimism, is represented by the color rose.
  • in folklore, grey is often associated with goblin folk of several kinds. Scandinavian folklore often depicts their gnomes and nisser in grey clothing. This is partly because of their association with dusk, partly because these races, including elves (see below), often are outside moral standards (black or white).
  • Grey noise
  • Grey area
  • Famed German painter Gerhard Richter is known in part for a series of large grey abstract paintings such as this one, displayed at Tate Modern — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

In fiction[edit]

Color coordinates[edit]

All the grey values in greyscale are solutions of the inequality:
All the grey values in greyscale are solutions of the inequality:
when .
In theory it is also possible to achieve a greyscale with perfect inks when:
All the grey values in greyscale fit one of the following three equalities:
or (black) or (white).
All the grey values in greyscale are solutions of the inequality:
when .

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus. In terms of votes, there is almost a tie between the two preferences. The article name has been the subject of hot disputes in the past, as reflected by the indefinite move protection. The users who believe that WP:ENGVAR should decide the matter didn't give a persuasive argument. The article on grey/gray is expected to serve as a common reference for mention of this color all over the encyclopedia. It isn't a question of who started this one article originally. WP:ENGVAR even provides that "Universally used terms are often preferable to less widely distributed terms, especially in article titles". Some editors claim that 'grey' is valid usage in the USA. If this is true then grey may represent the closest option for common usage in the two countries. The Ngrams supplied by User:Red Slash support the case for this. In any event it's hard to see this article being moved from the name it has occupied for nine years without a broad consensus in favor. EdJohnston (talk) 20:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

GreyGray – As discussed in the previous section, the article uses US English throughout, but is named with the UK/European spelling. Relisted. Jenks24 (talk) 12:34, 11 July 2014 (UTC) McGeddon (talk) 11:36, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose for the reasons discussed in the archive [ e.g. WP:COMMONALITY Wikipedia tries to find words that are common to all varieties of English etc. ]. In any case, WP:TITLE doesn't have to follow copy. In ictu oculi (talk) 12:35, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Please clarify: the article appears to use the British spelling "grey" throughout, except for specific, deliberate cases: a direct quote, HTML colours. I don't see where we get the conclusion that the article uses US English. As it stands, it is "color" that is inconsistent, isn't it? The article should be tagged as using British English. – Wdchk (talk) 12:47, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
The article uses US spellings for "color", "airplane", "favorite", "kilometer" and "-ize" in place of "-ise". I'd missed the archive discussion; if "grey" is an acceptable US spelling as well, then perhaps there's no need to move it. (I just hit the talk page after reverting a patchy ENGVAR change and seeing my own unanswered suggestion from a year ago.)--McGeddon (talk) 13:03, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
I was just reading the archive too. Clearly the rationale is that "grey" is "acceptable" as a (US) American English spelling. While true, I think most people would look at this as a non-US spelling, then see the body as inconsistent. In ictu oculi may be correct in saying title and copy don't have to agree, but it's probably less confusing if they do. Do I care enough to want to rehash an old discussion? Nope. – Wdchk (talk) 13:12, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. From what I can gleen in the archive, this page initially began at "gray" before it was moved unilaterally. Per ENGVAR it should have stayed there unless there was a compelling reason to move it to 'grey,' which I don't see. Plus, the nominator's rationale makes perfect sense. We use American spelling throughout the article, so it should apply to the title as well. Calidum Talk To Me 14:01, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. The title and usage should be in one variant or the other. Apparently the original was US English per ENGVAR, so that's what it should be. That "grey" is theoretically acceptable in US English is neither here or there. It's getting red underlines as I type this, and I have my dictionary set to US English. --В²C 22:16, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose ( reconsidering see below ) per WP:COMMONALITY ( the first part of ENGVAR, that comes before RETAIN subsection which is the part I'm assuming most are referring to via ENGVAR above ). As the grey spelling is valid in all varieties it should be preferred. PaleAqua (talk) 22:35, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
    Still opposed, but mostly as both titles seem valid and it has had this title for a long time, I don't see any benefit in changing it. PaleAqua (talk) 03:43, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Measured strong support. Now, we do generally try to go for commonality. This article is 100% American English and that variety should be retained (so whether we move it or not, we still should use "color"). It's also true that we do try to use common forms to all varieties of English (soft drink, etc.). Here's the key question: is "grey" significantly more common in American English than "gray" is in British English? First up, a global comparison: "gray" is favored but not by a ton. Let's look now at American English only... Hmm, looks like "gray" is roughly 2.5 to 3 times as popular as "grey". Now, what if Brits actually do use the American form a bit, too? That would mean we don't need to switch the form from the "a" version. And indeed, that's exactly the case. There's less than a two-to-one ratio.
In other words, we are using a spelling lightly favoured by Brits instead of one moderately favored by Americans... in an article in American English. I cordially invite In ictu oculi and PaleAqua to consider this data. Red Slash 00:54, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
User:Red Slash do you think the American publishing industry publishes more books than UK, Australia, Canada, India? Or is it that Indian books aren't generally on Google Books? India is the world's largest English-speaking nation, this article probably should be tagged as being in Indian English. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:02, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
In ictu oculi, with respect, have you ever read our policies on national varieties? WP:ENGVAR is relevant, and it says that we do not ever weigh or consider the varied populations or publishing output of any national variety in order to avoid such arguments (read WP:LAME). Red Slash 22:30, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
If the gray spelling is widely used outside of the US that indeed may be a good counter argument. I use American English myself, I was always lead to believe that gray was not used much outside the US; if that is not the case then that changes things. PaleAqua (talk) 01:37, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support "gray". The page derives from this, which used "gray" throughout, and has a history starting 16:41, 20 February 2002‎. WP:RETAIN therefore supports "gray", and keeping spellings generally to "gray". I presume that there have been some page renames not evident in the logs. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:33, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Interesting, the first version of the article apparently used British spelling ( e.g. colour ) except for the word gray. The 2005 fork and subsequent requested move back look like they didn't closed properly, just sort of petered out. The other issue is long standing... the article only had that version for about three years, and has had grey for nine years now which means it's long standing. Tricky, half tempted to suggest just leaving the status quo as I'm not sure what real benefit moving this would have at this point. Both spellings are valid and I don't think we are going to confuse readers either way. Guess I'll tweak my !vote. PaleAqua (talk) 03:43, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
      • It seems that grey/gray doesn't have a black and white UK/US division. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:18, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
        • You mean... it's all kind of gray? Face-smile.svg Red Slash 22:30, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as grey is perfectly acceptable in American English and is most common in the rest of the world. Dicklyon (talk) 02:44, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Is gray less than acceptable, or uncommon, in parts of the world? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:18, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
      • Dicklyon, I hope you don't take any offense, but it is a bit frustrating to me that I posted sources showing that "gray" is used outside of American English more than "grey" is used in America, yet you have written a completely unsourced claim to the contrary. Do you have any support that contradicts the solid evidence I introduced? 22:30, 3 July 2014 (UTC)Red Slash
        • I do find books that say explicitly that it's "grey" everywhere but America; here for example. I don't consider your evidence at all "solid", since I'm pretty sure that Google books has an imprecise algorithm for assigning books to the British and American English categories, and it's ignoring the rest of the English-speaking world. Your evidence does show that "grey" is at least twice as common in British English; other that that, I wouldn't draw any conclusion about the smaller numbers. Dicklyon (talk) 03:16, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
          • How about 169,000 results for "gray colour centre" (not in quotes)? Might that override the assertion from a footnote in a spelling textbook? Red Slash 20:23, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
            • Search engines do common term folding. Look at how many of those results have "grey" highlighted. PaleAqua (talk) 20:38, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
              • Good point! I'd missed that. This is better - it has some entries using Gray, capitalized, as a surname--I wasn't able to weed those out. Still, it looked to me like most of them were the color. Red Slash 19:45, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the article was originally at Grey. Dental plan / lisa needs braces! 13:04, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Not really. Apparently, WAY back in the day, someone wrote a mixed article that was a disambiguation/article-on-the-actual-gray-color mashup. That was at Gray. Then, someone took the content on the color and started the article here at grey, in this edit. WP:RETAIN favors the move. Red Slash 22:30, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONALITY. Gray is not acceptable in BrEng but Grey is in AmEng. Zarcadia (talk) 16:06, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Zarcadia, I hope you don't take any offense, but it is a bit frustrating to me that I posted sources showing that "gray" is used outside of American English more than "grey" is used in America, yet you have written a completely unsourced claim to the contrary. Do you have any support that contradicts the solid evidence I introduced? Red Slash 22:30, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
      • Hi Red Slash. No offense taken but I don't agree that your stats provided show that the AmEng spelling for the colo(u)r is more prevalent in BrEng than vice versa. The stats you have provided show absolutely no context, just that the spelling Gray is used in BrEng, which it is in the common surname Gray (surname). Zarcadia (talk) 17:40, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
        • Wow, Zarcadia, I hadn't thought about that. Good call. Here's the caps-sensitive one from the last ten years showing just lowercase "gray"...[1] - if you look at the history, it appears that accepting "gray" is on the rise, but it still is significantly less common than "grey". Red Slash 19:45, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
          • This source establishes that "Gray" is indeed acceptable in British English even if it's less common (just as "Grey" is acceptable in American English even if it's less common).--Cúchullain t/c 13:23, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support It's an article that started using one variation of English, then was switched without consulation or consensus. Change it back to gray, and if someone feels so strongly about it that they want to go through all the motions, let them go through the hassle! It's annoying when the only argument someone has is "well, it's like that in my country!" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME. This isn't really an WP:ENGVAR issue, since both spellings are used in all varieties ("Gray" is more common in the US, while "Grey" is more common in the UK and elsewhere, but both are established in all the major varieties[2]). It does appear to be the case that "Gray" is more common outside the US than "grey" is in the U.S., and this article has always used American English.
Given that either spelling is fine, WP:COMMONNAME is the deciding factor, and that would favor "gray". Overall, it's more common than "Grey" according to this ngram and has been since the 19th century.--Cúchullain t/c 17:00, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
No, sorry but WP:COMMONNAME is different to WP:ENGVAR. Of course the U.S. spelling is more common because of the massive population of the United States, that does not mean that that spelling variation overrules other English speaking countries. WP:COMMONNAME refers to words, NOT spelling. Zarcadia (talk) 21:15, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
COMMONNAME absolutely refers to spelling. And the most common spelling does trump less common spellings when there's not really an WP:ENGVAR issue, as here (where both spellings are established across varieties).--Cúchullain t/c 13:23, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Comment: It looks like the earliest history for the topic, from February 20, 2002 and currently found here, was originally located at "Gray". WP:RETAIN, as well as COMMONNAME, favors that spelling.--Cúchullain t/c 17:11, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
      • As I understand RETAIN, Grey would be the prefered name as it has been used for almost a decade and not only for this article but for all the related articles, categories and templates. Note that the original article used UK English even though it used the gray spelling. In 2005 the choice probably should have been made in part using RETAIN / ENGVAR which would have ended up with UK English with the gray spelling. 9 years though after it was set to US English with the Grey spelling, which has since in my opinion become the long standing consensus. I see RETAIN as supporting Grey now. PaleAqua (talk) 21:58, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
        • Well, it's been move protected for years, which explains why it hasn't continued to move around. However, the spellings have been discussed and edit warred over ever since with no resolution in sight. I don't think the status quo is really established. The part of WP:RETAIN I was thinking of was "When no English variety has been established and discussion cannot resolve the issue, the variety used in the first non-stub revision is considered the default." That seems to be the case here, and the earliest use was "gray". And of course I'd regard it as secondary to the WP:COMMONNAME policy argument.--Cúchullain t/c 13:23, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

More greys, not just the HTML-named.[edit]

Thie infobox shows sRGB(128, 128, 128) as being the color. That is correct by W3C color name, as a color grey there are more options. Every sRGB(n, n, n) (all n's equal) show a grey color. Since this is about grey in general, this fixation on one color should be nuanced. -DePiep (talk)

Agreed. It's not only this article that has that problem. A large number of color articles over emphasize X11/HTML/CSS colors. I still want to redo the infobox some day and push such coordinates and samples down to a sub box. PaleAqua (talk) 15:49, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

"Neutral color"[edit]

I found this article while searching for "neutral color", as it redirected here. But I'm actually looking for an article on "neutral color" in the sense of various (often non-grey) colors used in a neutral manner—like beige, navy blue, etc. Is there such an article? And if so, there should either be a disambiguation page or a better navigation guide at the top of this article. - Gilgamesh (talk) 00:05, 14 August 2015 (UTC)