Oh, let me get my dork hat on and haul out the grammar wonk. Today’s little meditation is going to visit adjectives. And not just any adjectives, but colors, in particular.
You see, there are a handful of nouns that are seemingly non-existent without a particular color. However, when combined with said color, they often take on a remarkably more involved connotation than the simple adjective would produce on face value.
While recently reading Geek love: Dating while academic and other misadventures, I couldn’t help but be captured by the dynamic “ivory tower.” Probably the oldest color+noun combination I have today, this one has even been glorified in a chart-topping song (see, Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places). And in today’s rhetoric, this particular color+noun combo results in something with a very loose association to the basic visual the two words individually create.
So I move on. What about a “blue lagoon”? How often do you run into your basic, average, otherwise non-color-specific lagoon? You don’t. The bottom line is, all lagoons are blue. They just roll off your tongue better that way.
And of course, if you merely mention Cadillac, tell me that something 74′ long with fins and PINK doesn’t come to mind? Once again, thank you music world for helping us fill in the blank on this one (“…Pink Cadillac / crushed velvet seats / riding in the back / oozing down the streets…”). Then again, though, I could go on for days about the color pink…
But I have to ask on this last one though, why is it that lips can only be ruby red? Not just red. But ruby red. And not candy apple… that’s usually reserved for a convertible. Have you ever heard of rose red, scarlet, or crimson lips? Okay… I suppose there can also be blood red lips. But now we’re talking a whole different person than the one under the ruby red mouth.
Have a colorful day!