A Dictionary of Colour: A Lexicon for the Language of Color

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Toy — A word describing either poor work or a painter without skill, sometimes a newbie. Undersides — Graffiti painted on the underside of a subway or train car.

A Dictionary of Color: A Lexicon of the Language of Color

Whole train graffiti covers the entirety of a train. Difficult to paint, these works are more often collaborative, done in limited amounts of time often under 5 minutes with limited color schemes. If successful, this is one of the most respected graffiti forms out there. The first artist who started embellishing letters in this way is Phase 2. In graffiti culture, 3D refers to letter writing, but there is another version of 3D painting on pavement that is very popular called Chalk art.

Chalk art and 3D graffiti are very different in both concept and aesthetics and they are not to be mixed. Abstract Style — Letters are generally not a part of the Abstract style, but the painterly skill and harmony an artist demonstrates in a piece. The goal is similar to abstract painting — to make a harmonious piece with specific dynamics and balance by the use of basic artistic elements — line, shape, geometry, color and composition. A deliberately toy or seemingly unskilled style of writing and painting. It stems from the 70s graffiti culture in New York, but it spread gaining popularity in the 80s and early 90s in San Francisco.

Anti-style does not follow any rules and is highly individualized, but often visually awkward. Backjump — A throw-up or a panel piece that is executed quickly, often on a momentarily parked train or bus. More readable than most graffiti, they are usually painted in two colors, often combinations of plain black, white and silver. Used to go over other work, or to cover train sides more easily, blockbusters are good for supreme coverage.

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Bombing — An act of painting many different walls inside one city area or train within a very short timeframe. Graffiti bombers are prone to using simpler styles, tags or throw-ups, because speed is an important factor. It can also mean — to go out writing. Bubble Style — An old, a bit dated graffiti style of simple, rounded, bubble-shaped letters, generally easy to read. Writers dedicated to cartoons often invent their own characters and imagery. Cartoon graffiti adds humor to a piece, easily adapted to the most of the lettering styles.

Insides are a more specific reference to tags written inside public transportation vehicles — trains, busses etc. Complex Style — A generic term for graffiti that uses complicated lettering, an abundance of color and that is hard to execute. These works are difficult to read, but they are visually impressive. They can be found around railway stations or in the streets.

Dubs are usually a crew effort. Free Style — A combination of styles without one defining characteristic. An individual expression. Full Monty — A piece that covers an entire area, wall or object. It can contain a coarse, but a highly effective message.

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Mop — A homemade graffiti painting tool. Usually used to paint larger tags. It has a rounded tip and leaves a fat line that drips. Mops can be done in different paints.

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Mural — A wall painting applied on either outside or an inside surface, or a ceiling. In street art, it refers to a large, elaborate wall piece that requires significant skill to paint. Unlike graffiti, murals normally respect the architecture of the wall and the building, sometimes even the surroundings.


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They are often legal. Old School — A generic term that refers to the times of early graffiti, to the 70s and early 80s. It can relate to the hip-hop music of that period as well. Old-school writers enjoy a lot of respect because they were there from the beginning, many of them having invented particular styles of writing. For example, Phase 2 created bubbles, clouds and 3D, and Blade and Comet started using blockbusters first. A big and complex piece of wall painting that is time-consuming and difficult to execute. A work of a more experienced writer, earning them extra respect.

Punition — A type of graffiti writing in which one word is repeated countless times, until it covers an entire surface. The name comes from the punition lines used to punish children at school. Roller graffiti — Graffiti that is painted with a roller and paint, rather than with a spray can. There are special techniques related to this type of writing. Semi-Wildstyle — A simpler form of Wildstyle, more discernible than the full-on wildstyle writing. Sharp — A manner of writing very geometric, angular letters with lost of sharp angles and corners, taking the pointy and piercing elements to an extreme.

Letters are altered greatly,often unrecognizable, giving off a fierce and furious impression. At this stage, there are more cultures who recognize yellow rather than green first. Currently, there are two languages which identify green first, the Ibiobio Nigerian language and the Philippine language of Mindoro, Hanunoo. At stage IV, whichever of the two terms green or yellow not acquired at stage III is now acquired, bringing the total terms to five.

In short, their analysis showed that in a culture with only two terms, they would roughly correlate with "dark" covering black , dark colors, and cold colors such as blue and "bright" covering white , light colors, and warm colors such as red. All languages with three colors terms would add red to this distinction. Thus, the three most basic colors are black, white, and red. Additional color terms are added in a fixed order as a language evolves: first one of green or yellow ; then the other of green or yellow; then blue. All languages distinguishing six colors contain terms for black, white, red, green, yellow, and blue.

These colors roughly correspond to the sensitivities of the retinal ganglion cells, leading Berlin and Kay to argue that color naming is not merely a cultural phenomenon, but is one that is also constrained by biology—that is, language is shaped by perception.

A dictionary of colour : a lexicon of the language of colour (eBook, ) [dycifavoci.tk]

A study [9] suggested that the origin of this hierarchy may be tied to human vision and the time ordering in which these color names get accepted or agreed upon in a population perfectly matches the order predicted by the hierarchy. As languages develop, they next adopt a term for brown ; then terms for orange , pink , purple or gray , in any order. The proposed evolutionary trajectories as of are as follows.

Today every natural language that has words for colors is considered to have from two to twelve basic color terms. All other colors are considered by most speakers of that language to be variants of these basic color terms. English contains eleven basic color terms: "black", "white", "red", "green", "yellow", "blue", "brown", "orange", "pink", "purple", and "grey". Italian , Russian and Hebrew have twelve, distinguishing blue and azure. That doesn't mean English speakers cannot describe the difference of the two colors, of course; however, in English, azure is not a basic color term because one can say light blue instead, while pink is basic because speakers do not say light red.

Color words in a language can also be divided into abstract color words and descriptive color words, though the distinction is blurry in many cases. Abstract color words are words that only refer to a color. In English white, black, red, yellow, green, blue, brown, and gray are abstract color words. Descriptive color words are words that are secondarily used to describe a color but primarily used to refer to an object or phenomenon.

Often a descriptive color word will be used to specify a particular hue of basic color term salmon and rose [descriptive] are both hues of pink. The status of some color words as abstract or descriptive is debatable. The color " pink " was originally a descriptive color word derived from the name of a flower called a "pink" see dianthus ; however, because the word "pink" flower has become very rare whereas "pink" color has become very common, many native speakers of English use "pink" as an abstract color word alone and furthermore consider it to be one of the basic color terms of English.

The name " purple " is another example of this shift, as it was originally a word that referred to a dye see Tyrian purple. The word " orange " is difficult to categorize as abstract or descriptive because both its uses, as a color word and as a word for an object, are very common and it is difficult to distinguish which of the two is primary.

As a basic color term it became established in the early to mid 20th century; before that time artist's palettes called it "yellow-red". In English, the use of the word "orange" for a fruit predates its use as a color term. The word comes from French orenge , which derives via Sanskrit narang from a Dravidian language such as Tamil or Tulu. Nevertheless, "orange" color is usually given equal status to red, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, pink, gray, white and black all abstract colors in membership among the basic color terms of English.

Based solely on current usage of the word, it would be impossible to distinguish whether the fruit is called an orange because of its color, or the color is so called after the fruit. This problem is also illustrated by violet and indigo. In Italian there is an adjective arancione different of and derived from the fruit name arancio. In Portuguese, it is usual to distinguish the fruit laranja from the color name cor-de-laranja , which means 'color-of-orange'.

The same goes for Rosa 'rose' and cor-de-rosa 'color-of-rose' ; and Violeta 'violet' and cor-de-violeta 'color-of-violet'. Research on color terms is often conducted without reference to common uses of the term or its significance within the context of its original language.