Friday, December 04, 2009

Name Game: Color Me Baffled

Sometimes it's difficult to come up with titles for my stories. I've hit upon good ones (a fantasy trilogy in the works: "What Price the Crown," "Once a Princess," "Queen Without a Country" (which has been used, but I didn't know that at the time)). Quite by accident, I must admit. Others are, as my daughter would say, "meh". Serviceable, but nothing that pops. I know a good title is important to both convey the contents of the story and be as memorable as possible without being ridiculous (no more than five words; it should be "active," using some verb form, etc.).

But I don't have the difficulty that others do when it comes to naming things. Consider the folks whose job is to name paint colors.

Recently, my husband and I decided to paint our bedroom. Down at the hardware store, we found that handy book with all those rectangular paint sample cards. An amazing number of colors. But looking closer, the names the company labeled their paints were amusing. Or head-scratchers. Examples? I got them.

First of all, there are many colors named for foods and drinks, and a good number of those are roasted, toasted and baked. A few are raw, but mostly they've been subjected to some kind of heating method. Another popular category is nature. Makes sense. We like a little of the outdoors indoors, where it can be controlled and kept clean with the swipe of a sponge.

Weather/atmospheric conditions get more than a few. There were many raindrops this and windy or breezy that, but my faves are a little more, shall we say, tumultuous.

New Monsoon and Tsunami Night--exciting, I'm sure, but do you want your room color to make you think of potential natural disasters?
City Storm--appropriately a darker gray.
March Ice--kind of brownish, which makes sense.
March Breeze--a lighter shade than March Ice, but still brownish. Not healthy.
Warm Fog--quiet the oxymoron, don't you think?
Dusted Gloam--"gloaming" means twilight, but why the decision to take off the "-ing"? Doesn't "Dusted Gloaming" roll off the tongue easily enough? No, no it doesn't.

A few others I found that had me wondering about the state of mind of the poor paint company employee trying to come up with a new way to describe the thousandth shade of some color:

Limish--really? That's the best you could do?
Martian
--yes, it is green. Surprised?
Bluish
--see Limish
Novella Blue
--what?

But my favorites are the colors that send a message.

Lucky You--a perfect choice for the bedroom, don't you think?
Dawn's Reveal--unless you've had a bad morning after experience.
Bleak--also not a good bedroom choice.
Rapture, Bliss and Rollick--now we're talking.
Super Nova--Yes! Though it's a paler color than I think of when I think of a super nova.
Slumber--well, yes, I would like that too, thank you.
Prudence--sounds a little to stiff and formal. Perhaps a few glasses of wine before bed are in order?
Virtue and Naivete--totally painting my daughters' rooms these colors.

There was one color that would make a killer title for a SFR: Helio Prism. Apparently I'm not the only one who thought that sounded way cool, as it's also part of the title of an album by a band called Beautiful Bloody Fiction, with some paint color-worthy song titles: Waiting for the Smoke to Clear, Burst, and Rose-Colored Specticles.

In the end, Husband and I went with a warm, peachy color called "Sonoma." Neither of us have ever been to Sonoma, but should we go we'd expect to see this shade dominating the landscape. Because the paint company said so.

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5 Comments:

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Angryromancegrrl said...

How about:
No Nookie for you
You're not getting any
Don't even try
I have a headache
Start without me
Finish without me

Wonder what those would look like

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Heheh, I can only imagine, ARG. Maybe we should have a contest : )

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Sharon P said...

I wanted to use "soulful" in the dining room. But alas it was darker than I could handle. "Kismet" wasn't bad but still a little dark. I am tending toward something "inspired."

 
At 7:56 PM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Hey there, Sharon! Thanks for stopping by : )

Is there a color called "Inspired"? There should be. "Soulful" and "kismet" sound like they're in the yellow family. Are they? Probably not. Other than some obvious ones (Blueish, Limish, etc) I stink at guessing name/color combos if asked.

 
At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Sharon P said...

all are in the purple family.

 

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