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50 Shades of That Color Between Black & White

Gray Grey

Stephany, who is not my wife, but the person for whom I fulfill the role as husband, says I'm a synesthete. (I'm told that to use the phrase 'my wife, Stephany' would be to make me a flagrant sexist, and nobody's going to call me flagrant and get away with it. The gist of it has something to do with objectification, as if by using that phrase, I'm implying that she belongs to me. As if anything can belong to anyone! Which reminds me of that old chestnut, 'if you love something, set it free; if it doesn't come back to you of its own free will, hunt it down and kill it.' To be completely safe, let's just call her 'this person I know, Stephany.') She may be right. To me, the letter 'A' has always had a red tinge. The same way that the number '4' is dirty yellow.

I'm also an American. Now this means, other than the fact that 89% of the world's countries have been pretty much fed up with our foreign policy since 1965 which, although it is probably a conservative number, is nonetheless not germane, that every time I write the word
grey, my spell checker keeps trying to tell me I'm making a mistake. If I lived in the U.K., this would't happen, would it?

The has this to say: "Gray is more common in American English, while grey is more common in all other major varieties of English."

Typical. You see what I'm saying about foreign policy?

Take a look at the two color swatches above. Both are obviously shades of neither white nor black. When I look at them, there is only one correct way to spell each. The color on the left is gray, and the color on the right is grey. There's an 'a' in gray, which makes it a warmer color. And grey, by comparison, is cooler, as in battleship grey. Doesn't the color on the right look like it belongs on a seafaring instrument of death? If I saw a destroyer painted gray, I just couldn't take it seriously.

Having said that, (and you know that any time anyone uses the phrase 'having said that,' whatever comes next is going to negate whatever has come before), I never spell the word grey with an 'a,' regardless of its usage. It's alway grey for this Americano. Why? Not because I think it's cooler. Get it? It might have something to do with the fact that I spent my junior year of high school in the lower sixth form of a grammar school in Middlesex, dyeing me forever and always the color of an Anglophile. Then again, it might not. It isn't, after all, a question of black or white.