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It's Gray not Grey

And the correct orthography is...

     
4:08 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Grey [answers.com] vs Gray [answers.com]
4:28 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's either one depending where you live ;o)
4:37 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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There is no correct term. Grey is generally wider used in Britain, and hence enjoys prominence in the OED, but gray is a legitimate alternative. However!

While Dr Johnson and some other Lexographers argue the usage is gray, a survey conducted in 1893 by Dr Murray found that the overwhelming majority of British people used grey.

The confusion arises from the Old English word which was graeg, hence we have gray and grey, some might argue it should be graey!

Further, while (in 1930) the Times newspaper always used the term gray, other notable periodicals used grey and some British people even used grey to describe a paler tint than gray! A search through history finds both spellings in use after 1300.

Confused?

Don't start me on colour V color!

<bg>

Matt

4:50 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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But gray is a legitimate alternative.

lol! Shouldn't it be the other way around?

But grey is a legitimate alternative.

When in doubt, always look to the official resources (United States) on color usage. In my case, it is Pantone®. If I view my printed Pantone Guides, the word gray is used as opposed to grey. If I view my Pantone Swatches in Illustrator or Photoshop, they are listed as gray as opposed to grey.

Can I ask those in countries outside the U.S. who use Pantone® colors to check their spelling of the word gray. I wonder if Pantone® has made adjustments for the spelling based on country. ;)

5:03 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[pantone.co.uk...] uses Grey
5:08 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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maccas, does the actual printed chart use the word grey? Or is it just the writer's spelling of the word grey on that Pantone web page?
5:10 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Funny, they use grey but not colour.

;-)

5:11 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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great post. really really good.
5:28 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When in doubt, always look to the official resources (United States) on color usage.

You didn't read what I wrote <g>!

I thought I said that here in the UK the OED quotes how the Times newspaper used one spelling and other notable periodicals another. Ergo, whether Pantone use gray or grey is irrelevant to the validity of the spelling.

IF the majority of American citizens use the spelling gray, then that would be the prefered spelling in the USA, but let's not forget (and the clue's in the name of the language) where the defacto for the English language lies, in England (notice we have a number of native languages within the UK, English is the most widespread, but there is also Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Dorsetshire, Manx and a few others which are probably extinct now).

I suggest that the official source for the English language should be recognised as the Oxford English Dictionary, but conceed that for other languages, such as American, Candian, Australian and South African that other sources should be relied upon.

Yours, keeping my tongue in my cheek,

Matt

5:38 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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IF the majority of American citizens use the spelling gray, then that would be the prefered spelling in the USA.

You are correct, it is gray as opposed to grey in the U.S. Take a look at a 5 gallon can of Haze Gray. :)

The above is an inside joke for those who served in the Navy.

I'm wondering though if UK users or other English speaking countries have software and/or printed materials (from colour authorities) that actually use the word grey. I would assume that Photoshop and Illustrator are based on U.S. usage? Or, are there country specific versions of that software that change the wording to reflect correct English usage as mentioned above. ;)

5:58 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, pageoneresults, CSS would appear to agree with you... ;)

style="background-color:Gray"
vs
style="background-color:Grey"

6:04 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Pantone's UK website uses gray, but then it also uses color.

Gray I can live with, though it always makes me think of an anatomy book when I see it written down. But, except for in code, 'color' just looks wrong to me.

Off to search for grey/gray in printed material!

6:08 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



CSS3 Color Module [w3.org]

The specifications have entries for both gray and grey. They are accounting for both proper English and of course U.S. English (our version). ;)

7:17 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The specifications have entries for both gray and grey.

The extended SVG colours appear to have accepted the appalling omission in the HTML4 colours...

Let's not even get started on background-colo(u)r!

5:16 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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haze gray and underway!
5:19 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Haze gray and underway!

lol! Anytime I see the actual color Haze Gray, I think of Haze Gray and Underway. A term I'll never forget. Especially after being initiated while hanging from the side of a 675' nuclear powered guided missile cruiser painting out weld marks from front to back. ;)

My last vehicle was Haze Gray in color.

9:17 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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lol! Anytime I see the actual color Haze Gray, I think of Haze Gray and Underway. A term I'll never forget. Especially after being initiated while hanging from the side of a 675' nuclear powered guided missile cruiser painting out weld marks from front to back. ;)

Yeah! I was in the Navy for 5 years as electronics technician. However, I was never on a ship. Can't say that I have the same reaction as you when you see or hear those words, but I know exactly what your talking about.
9:34 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[en.wikipedia.org...]

if you try

[en.wikipedia.org...]

it merely redirects to the (correct) grey page.

10:11 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)



American spelling and pronunciations were promoted in the 19th Century by Noah Webster in an effort to establish a national American identity separate from English.

He succeeded in varying shades of blended black and white.

[en.wikipedia.org...]

4:23 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For the life of me, before reading this thread, I never thought that "gray" was a legitimate spelling. I just thought it was another one of those idioms people use when writing.

I have rarely encountered the word gray in serious writings. I was taught "grey" as a kid, and I'm not British.

12:31 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I have the same experience -- we were taught "grey" in a US public school and I never thought about it until I was well past 21. I don't think this variant caught on as uniformly as other Americanizations, such as dropping the "u" from "-our" endings, or "-ize" instead of "-ise".
12:57 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I regularly, and I mean very regularly, get emails from helpful Americans telling me they enjoyed this or that article but just want to let me know there are some spelling errors in it - like valour, formalise or rationalise.
9:38 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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such as dropping the "u" from "-our" endings

The certainly isn't uniform: sour? flour? dour? your? our?

Lots of other "our" words could do with a trim too. Let's start with:

Supreme Cort

9:38 pm on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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such as dropping the "u" from "-our" endings


certainly isn't uniform: sour? flour? dour? your? our?

Sorry if you were just kidding, but you may have misunderstood the original post. It was referring to '"-our" endings' --that is multi-syllable words which add a distinct ending-- not all words that have these three letters at the end. Compare words that add the "-ing" ending ("running", "throwing") with those whose roots happen to end with "ing" ("sing", "fling").

Of course, these rules will always have their exceptions, or apparent exceptions (as when we've misunderstood them or stated them imprecisely). I don't believe any British men are "doctours" or "actours"(or any other occupation that ends with "-or" --in ANY flavo(u)r of English!) nor do any of them sing "tenour".

9:52 pm on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Of course, these rules will always have their exceptions

Language is such a wonderful thing -- sometimes nothing but exceptions.

Just one multi-syllable exception to US spelling for now:

detour

:)

9:52 pm on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Americanizations, such as dropping the "u" from "-our" endings, or "-ize" instead of "-ise".

Would that be "Americanisations" in Britain?

Actually, "-ize" vs "-ise" is not an instance of Americans later deciding to change established British spelling. "ize" has been around for centuries, and in fact, is the preferred Oxford spelling because this is the etymological spelling (from Greek -izein). If I'm not mistaken, "ize" and "ization" endings are considered acceptable in all modern forms of English (even if not everywhere preferred).

7:43 am on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Just one multi-syllable exception to US spelling for now:

detour

That's not an exception since it has its root in the word

tour
, thus falling in the same bucket as sour, flour, our.
8:10 am on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And the winnner is... [googlefight.com]
8:51 am on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No one has even mentioned the great debate about what the last letter of the alphabet is called. Is it a "zee" or a "zed"? (and should one cross one's zed's and sevens?)
12:16 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't care what Google fight says. When I take a bus to philly, I use Greyhound, not Grayhound. It even says so on the bus....
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