Roses are red, vio­lets are blue. Uh…really?

Now did it ever occur to you that “vio­let” is not “blue”? We’ll let that go for a moment. What’s pecu­liar is that while light blue, pure blue and dark blue are all con­sid­ered blue, light red, pure red and dark red are, respec­tive­ly, pink, red and brown. Green, same as blue, is con­sid­ered green from very light to very dark. So are pur­ple and, uh, vio­let, for the most part. But although light yel­low is still light yel­low, dark yel­low actu­al­ly becomes a brown­ish or green­ish col­or. Light orange hard­ly looks like orange once it gets into the pas­tel cat­e­go­ry, and dark orange also becomes brown. And black? Anything oth­er than pure black is gray until it gets so light it’s white. Interesting how the var­i­ous hues are per­ceived dif­fer­ent­ly as they change in val­ue.

Back to the line “vio­lets are blue.” Well, some­thing had to rhyme with “you.”

Someday we’ll argue whether or not black and white are col­ors. And I’ll tell you the secret to mix­ing a per­fect teal. Oh, and—what’s the sim­plest, most accu­rate def­i­n­i­tion of char­treuse.

But for now, let’s just say:

Roses are red
Violets are blue (not real­ly)
Because you’re here
I appre­ci­ate you (real­ly)