Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Got the Blues

Blue is not only a favorite color for a lot of people, it is a word that occurs in many English expressions, some of them oddly contradictory.

Obscene language is said to be “blue,” yet blue laws are those that forbid activities considered irreligious to take place on Sunday. A common blue law in the United States forbids the sale of liquor on Sundays.

The sky is blue but the gray coats of some dogs are also called “blue.”

A blue mood is a sad mood. To have the blues is to be sad, and the Blues refers to a type of music about unhappy love.

People who talk so much that others can hardly get a word in edgewise are said to talk a blue streak. (One can also “cuss ...

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  1. interesting our language and its varied meanings

  2. I love words and wordplay. I studied linguistics in college and found it fascinating how language evolves. Your post today is yet another example of that.

  3. Glad to see that you are not blue.

  4. Abd yet a blue sky is seen on a sunny day... a gray sky is cloudy. Why aren't we in blue moods when we're perky feel full of sunshine, and why aren't we in a gray mood when out attitude is under a cloud?

    Our language makes so little sense. The spelling is ridiculous.
    I remember working at an insurance company where one of the casualty claims adjusters would call in license plates like this:
    "That plate is K as in knife, P as in pneumonia, and T as in thrice."

    Even the word phonetics isn't spelled phonetically.

    This was a fun read!

  5. Hmmmm... I happen to really like the color blue but you're definitely right that blue often signifies something unpleasant.


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