Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A very important question for you:

Gray or Grey?


  1. Both. Gray is metallic, corporate, and dull. A battleship would be gray. Grey is soft and calming, like the undersides of clouds. Doves might be grey.

    Yes, I realize this is ridiculously subjective.

  2. I prefer grey, but I feel in the minority in the US. It feels like gray is more common here. I may have the wrong impression, but it seems "grey" is more common in British English. Obviously I don't correct either, though I recommend consistency.

    I've never seen a distinction based on any logic or attribution.

    It reminds me much of "disk" or "disc." Way back in the day, I did a fair bit of programming on Hewlett-Packard supermini computers. They would refer to storage as being "disk" if the medium was magnetic or "disc" if the medium was optical. I suppose that might be there was no arguing with Philips on the "Compact Disc" media format.

    Wow, this was useful, wasn't it?

  3. Aw, you beat me to disc vs disk. That was going to be some other week. It's an interesting distinction you make there, though, with magnetic vs digital.

  4. I find gray hard to deal with, mainly because the "a" to me has a yellow/orange tone to it, so the visual appearance of the written word conflicts with the visual image it is trying to create. The "e" is more blue/green, and says what it means better. I like the battleship versus dove distinction above - I can completely see how that works.

  5. I prefer American spellings in America, so I prefer gray. My Aunt married a Jamaican with the last name Grey, though, so I don't have anything against the spelling itself.

    I wonder if our spelling is original, and if the Brits changed theirs subsequently. It's happened with plenty of words. The etymology is of Germanic origin, grau.

  6. Britain and the Commonwealth use "grey". As with "they", "prey" and "whey".

    It was probably Noah Webster who changed it for the USA.
    Whenever I see "gray", I "see red". Grrrr.

    Remember, we also now have fifty shades of grey !


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