Sunday, April 29, 2012

Y is for Yellow

I have always thought of yellow as the colour of intelligence - but, it seems that it is so much more. According to the Australian Oxford Dictionary, it is the colour of buttercups, lemons and gold, of ripe wheat and jaundiced complexions, and of envy and suspicion. I didn't realise though that it could also refer to the press - where it means to be unscupulously sensational. We know that it can be used for describing fauna and flora, and has a use in sports where players can be given the yellow card when they're being cautioned; and there's the yellow flag - which indicates there's a crash ahead, although the yello flag can also be a flower or the flag displayed on a quarantined ship. To have the yellow jack is to be sick with yellow fever, and the yellow peril refers to "the political or military threat regarded as emanating from Asian peoples, especially the Chinese", and since we're in Asia, there's yellow rain which was reportedly a chemical warfare agent but which now appears to have been bee droppings (although it would have made more sense if it had been yellow and black). If you ran from that rain, people might have suggested you had a yellow streak - a trait of cowardice. But yellow is the colour of victory in cycling where the yellow jerseyshows you are a winner - but not necessarily the winner. Of course, some of us just like the colour because it's ... yellow.

1 comment:

mauz said...

That puts a whole different slant to the colour yellow. Mine's a bit idealistically shallow! I'm glad you like the photos.They are really a cheat for when I am lost for words.