Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Color of Language

One of my favorite podcasts is RadioLab. I'm always interested whenever they tackle language related questions--such as why the color blue isn't mentioned, even once, in either The Illiad or The Odyssey by Homer. I love how linguists have tracked when each color, red, green, yellow, purple, and blue showed up in various languages. And how they came to the realization that blue doesn't appear until somehow, we as humans can recreate it, paint it. It's as if we refuse to admit something exists until we puny humans can make it, too. I guess color is one of those things we can't take on faith. We have to see it, feel it, touch it, smell it, taste it before we recognize it. The episode is fascinating. Give it a listen.

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