Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can't Escape the Spoken Word

I was emailing a friend about what to wear to a special event. Several times we have been in situations when we've worn the same color or similar outfit. Wanting to avoid looking like twins, I went on to mention a blue sweater I was planning to wear.
When I first typed "blue", it looked weird. I guess I don't write many things about blue, so I looked at it some more. I backspaced and typed it again.... and again. I'm sitting here thinking "why isn't Spell Check picking up on this word?" Maybe it's the font or the lighting in the room or just me. I guess it's probably because it was spelled correctly! Has that ever happened to you? Not with blue, but with any word? That made me think of something else that happens; sometimes I'll say a word too many times that it starts to sound goofy, like it's not really a word? Try it yourself with "lamp" or "bulb" or "couch" or "dog" or anything; it usually has to be a one syllable word, sometimes two syllable words work.
Something similar happens with songs or names. You get one stuck in your head and it stays there. It actually, stays there for a full day! It's never a familiar song like "Happy Birthday" or "The Star Spangled Banner" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". It's usually just a phrase from some silly song you happened to hear while changing radio stations on the way to work; recently "p-p-p-poker face" was with me all day; no matter how many other songs I heard or sang to, "p-p-p-poker face" was the refrain to all of them.
Then there's the thing with a name. I once had Millard Fillmore rattling around my brain for the whole day. That really freaked me out and nearly drove me crazy. How does Millard Fillmore even come up to get stuck in your head? Who's having conversations about this guy? I don't think he's been the subject of talk radio... ever! But his name happened to get stuck in my head. And there was nothing I could do about it; believe me, I tried. I purposely thought of other odd names; Itshak Perlman, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Andrew Swanfeldt (he wrote a crossword puzzle dictionary; sometimes I need a reference book). Nothing worked. Millard Fillmore was my constant companion until I fell asleep that night.
I mentioned this to my friend in the next email and she said it happens to her occasionally, too. We laughed (LOL LOL) to each other. Our conclusion: we're just a pair of good friends that think alike. Rats! There I go again; now "pair" looks weird.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name Could be a Green Daisy

My lipstick broke! I needed a change and took the opportunity to find a new summery color. As I thumbed through the cosmetics catalog I began to regret throwing away the broken one (it still could have been used for quite awhile with a lipstick brush). Picking out a new shade of lipstick isn't as easy as you might think. There was Pink Lemonade, Around Town Pink and Forever on My Lips Fuchsia and of course, Forever Pink! Oh man! Provocative, Juicy Berry and Golden Rose were beginning to confuse me and The Passion of Pink seemed to have a peachy look to it. I guess I crossed into the peaches without realizing it. Sure enough there was Cantaloupe Slice and Terracotta and I was but one shade away and found myself looking at Mauve Madness!

I put the lipstick on hold and moved on to nail polish. What was I thinking!!! What the heck color is Rave or Totally Springtime or In the Night?

This is not a new thing. Do you remember your first box of Crayolas? You start Kindergarten with a box of six colors; the basics, red, orange, blue, yellow, green and black. By the time you were in second grade you moved on to the 24 pack (the one recommended on the supply list). But there was always that kid that had the box of 64. In about fourth grade the supply list allowed 48 colors. If I was lucky, my begging and pleading was able to sway my mom, and I walked into school on that first day with a box of 64 colors. I couldn’t wait to use that built-in sharpener.

I think this is when color confusion really kicked in; Aquamarine, Teal Blue and Robin’s Egg all look pretty much the same. There is a difference between Red Violet and Violet Red even though they look pretty much like Plum and Blush. Whoever named Fuzzy Wuzzy may be responsible for those nail polish colors.

In crossword puzzles the answer to “tan” is “ecru”. It looks something like dark off-white. Even though there are 202 choices of white paint none of them are called WHITE!!! You can get Extra White, Pure White, Dove White, Summer or Winter White but no WHITE White !!! Is Royal Ebony on a Bentley really more impressive than Black on a Ford? I’m not even getting into hair colors; too many shades, tones and temperatures (cools or warms).

The lists go on and on and on. Good luck if you’re looking to color your world.